MORE than £1.2 million is being invested in a series of schemes in Gwent encouraging people to ditch their cars and strap on their walking boots or get on their bikes.

The investment is part of a £60 million Welsh Government project encouraging active travel.

And among the first group of investments are £864,000 for a new bridge across the River Usk between Llanfoist and Abergavenny and £390,000 for a continuous footpath between Ystrad Mynach and Nelson.

A scheme setting up an active travel route between Pontypool and Mamhilad has also been handed £22,500.

Announcing the investments, economy and transport secretary Ken Skates said: “This funding will create new active travel routes across Wales, connecting people’s homes to schools, jobs and their local community with the aim of encouraging more people to walk or cycle.

“I am allocating the first £10.36 million to local authorities across Wales for schemes to promote active travel, which supports our efforts as a government to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, while building physical activity into people’s daily lives, delivering wider health benefits.”

In total 24 schemes across Wales have been handed a share of the investment.