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Road Works on Snowdon

Published on 11 Jul 2010 by Gwion Llwyd

Decent from Snowdon

The Snowdonia National Park are busy laying tarmac on sections of the popular Miners Track which leads to the summit of Snowdon. Initially I was quite taken aback by the news. A ridiculous notion dreamt up by some obscure and unelected committee I thought. The rights of a disadvantaged minority riding rough shot over common sense. Political correctness gone mad. “I bet it’s funded by Europe.”

I agreed with critics pointing out that this would lead to even more pressure being placed on this natural recourse and an inevitable increase of people on the mountain who are ill-prepared and badly equipped.

But I’ve had a bit of a rethink. As with many headlines, the reality is not as shocking as you first suspect. The section of the Miners Track being renovated is limited to the first gradual stretch from Pen y Pass, a popular starting point up to Llyn Glaslyn. Traditional building methods have been used to renovate the majority of this section. Tarmac, mixed with granite, has only been used in three small segments.

We should also remember that this wide track was laid during the last century by the Britannia Copper Miners not by present day bearcats. And of course Snowdonia is a big place. There are lots of other mountains which are just as beautiful and are climbed by 35 people a year not the 350,000 that descend on Snowdon.

Finally and perhaps most importantly the project is part of the national parks ‘Snowdonia for All’ initiative. A project run by the Authority which aims to “encourage disabled people, people with restricted mobility or parents who have young children to visit Snowdonia and have an enjoyable and relaxing time.” We must all agree that this is a noble aspiration. There are real people, like Laura, who will benefit from this work. Perhaps we should be a little less ‘outraged’ and a little more ‘charitable‘.

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