In South Wales, the campaign to reopen a disused railway tunnel as a foot and cycle path has passed a crucial milestone with the completion of a detailed examination into its condition.

Connecting two former coal mining valleys, it’s hoped that Rhondda Tunnel will boost the local economy by enticing tourists and creating jobs. But for the project to move forward, its ownership has to be transferred from the Department for Transport to another statutory body. The examination, together with the repair costing being developed alongside it, will inform decision-making on the viability of the transfer.

Rhondda Tunnel was closed in 1968 and has since been buried. Despite its lengthy period of redundancy, first impressions are of a tunnel in generally good condition, defects being concentrated in wet areas and where it passes close to old mine workings.