MORE THAN 100 cycling and walking routes in Monmouthshire have been proposed in a bid to create a healthier and more active county.

The routes, known as Integrated Network Maps (INMs), will include short-term upgrades of existing paths within five years and medium and longer term projects to be developed in the next 5 years.

Councils across Wales have been made to look into their active travel offerings by the Welsh Government as part of the Active Travel (Wales) Act.

The Welsh Government has set aside £5 million to support further scheme design and land acquisition, with the funding set to be shared between all 22 local authorities.

Monmouthshire County Council’s share of £175,000 would become available once their INMs are accepted.

“The act aims to make active travel the most attractive option for shorter journeys,” a statement on Monmouthshire County Council’s website reads.

“These forward looking maps will show how the existing network could be advanced in future years and will show proposed improvements of existing routes.

“Enabling more people to undertake active travel will mean more people can enjoy the health benefits of active travel, help reduce greenhouse emissions, tackle poverty and disadvantage and help our economy to grow.”

In Monmouthshire, draft INMs have been suggested in Caldicot, Chepstow, Abergavenny, Usk, Monmouth, Gilwern and Magor.

If approved Abergavenny would have the highest number of routes with 26, including a new walk and cycle path along the Gavenny River.

An “aspirational” cycle path between Chepstow and Caldicot has also been earmarked by Monmouthshire County Council, together with a link between Magor and Llanwern.

Maps of each area were shown to members of the public as part of a consultation exercise last November.

The consultation closed on January 16.

Monmouthshire County Council will send their INMs to the Welsh Government following a debate at full council on Thursday.

The council are also late in their submission, with the original deadline set at November 3 last year.

But they were granted an extension to February 28.