Welsh councils must be more radical and ambitious implementing active travel, they were told yesterday by Transport Deputy Minister Lee Waters.
Speaking at a workshop in Cardiff, Lee Waters warned authorities that the latest round of funding will reward ambitious ideas rather than be based solely on geographical spread, and he pledged to support those councils who need help in improving their future active travel plans.
He said, “Getting people out of cars for short journeys and travelling in a way which improves their health is an ambitious agenda.
“But it will produce multiple benefits, from cleaner air, less congested roads, improved mental health and busier local shops. As seen in other countries, the effect can be transformative. And if we want to transform transport choices and reap the benefits, we must think big and show ambition.”
Understanding the pressures LAs are working under, the Deputy Minister explained the support he intends to offer to help them become more ambitious ahead of the next submission of their revised Integrated Network Maps:
“I want to get a real understanding of the experiences – positive and negative – which you face in implementing the legislation, as well as those when planning specific schemes.
“I want to know what Welsh Government could do to support you in meeting your duties under the Act. I am already aware that design training and effective consultation and engagement are areas where support is likely to be needed.”
The Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 requires local authorities to identify potential routes to build strong, coherent and integrated active travel networks.
Active Travel infrastructure is a core component of modernising our transport network and delivering an integrated transport system for Wales.
Our Active Travel Act, which came into force four years ago, is an important step to help improve air quality, reduce congestion, and boost the nation’s physical and mental health. It requires local authorities to take full account of the requirements of walkers and cyclists when making investment in transport infrastructure and networks.