Pembrokeshire County Council is finalising plans to bid for Welsh Government funding to repair and reopen the recently closed Wiseman’s Bridge to Saundersfoot path.

The popular route, which is also a section of the National Cycle Route 4, had to be closed on safety grounds following landslips in November, December and most recently February.

A spokesperson for the Local Authority said: “Pembrokeshire County Council understands the concern among residents about local access and that a plan is needed to address the issue with landslides attributed to heavy rainfall over recent months.

Coppet hall rock fall
The rock-fall snapped the metal railings on the edge of the path, with the tunnel vanishing under a huge mound of earth, but luckily no-one was hurt. (Observer pic)

“Shared use path cliff stabilisation works will be discussed at Cabinet on March 11, which will include a focus on possible funding.

“The route also forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 4, and is one of the longest in the UK. Annual visitors along the route totalled 481, 684 in 2023 and was vital in supporting the local economy within Saundersfoot.

“The Council has been working closely with Welsh Government, and the Welsh Active Travel Board to submit a bid application for funding works to restore the link.”

There was a recent visit to Saundersfoot to view walking and cycling routes within the village, along with the landslide area.

It is anticipated that a bid for Welsh Government funding within the Active Travel scheme to help cover the cost of the remedial work required can be submitted.

This will include not only clearing the area, but to also undertake engineering safety works to re-stabilise the cliff in the affected areas.

In conjunction with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA), a second funding application could be submitted via the National Parks Partnership Cycling Projects Fund.

In the meantime, there is continued risk of further rock falls and the public are asked to respect the closure of the path and avoid the area.

Coppet hall tunnel closed
The Council has made an order temporarily prohibiting all vehicular and non vehicular access on the shared use footpath from Coppet Hall Point (Observer pic)

Following the rock fall, Saundersfoot’s county councillors Chris Williams and Alec Cormack met with PCC’s Highways Infrastructure Manager and Maintenance Manager.

“The locations of the current rock falls are very dangerous. It is not as simple as clearing up the fallen material and reopening the path,” remarked Cllr Williams.

“This fall is of great concern, not only to the local residents but also to those in the surrounding areas who enjoy the coastal walk on the flat between Saundersfoot and Wisemans Bridge. 

“I’m sure you’re all aware that the community, businesses and visitors all want this open as soon as possible,” he added.