First Minister Carwyn Jones met cyclists at Cardiff’s bike café to discuss the Welsh Government’s £60 million investment in Active Travel.
Earlier this week, the Welsh Government announced the investment over the next three years to create new active travel routes across Wales, connecting homes to schools, jobs and their local community.
This is the largest ever funding boost for active travel schemes in Wales and marks a step change in the Government’s approach to Active Travel. The funding – which is the equivalent of an extra £20 per head of the Welsh population – will enable the building of major, transformative infrastructure projects, which Wales has not seen in almost a decade.
The First Minister discussed what local cyclists would like to see from this major funding announcement – from more cycle lanes, bike hire schemes and parking facilities to cycle super highways.
The First Minister said, “Active Travel is a phrase which not everyone will recognise, but is actually part of many people’s daily routines – 61% of adults walk at least once a week and 42% of primary school children walk to school each day.
“However, only 5% of adults cycle at least once a week, while just 1% of children typically cycle to primary school. I want to see these levels rise significantly over the next few years, and so we need the infrastructure to support this.
“This funding – £60 million over the next three years – signals a step change in the Welsh Government’s approach to Active Travel.
Funding levels for walking and cycling has fluctuated year to year, but this is a clear commitment to prioritise this work.
Commenting, Steve Brooks, Director of Sustrans Cymru said, “Wales in picking up speed and closing the funding gap with Scotland.
“Helping more people leave their cars at home and make short journeys on foot or by bike is good news for the economy, the environment and public health.
“We know that congestion is hurting Welsh business, polluting our air and contributing to ill-health. Whilst we still have some way to go to make Wales a sustainable travel nation, today’s announcement is a massive step in the right direction.”