The Bill, which is a key commitment in the Programme for Government, is aimed at making walking and cycling easier and safer by requiring local authorities to plan fully integrated active travel networks. The legislation will require local authorities in Wales to:
- identify and map the network of routes within their areas that are safe and appropriate for walking and cycling;
- identify and map the enhancements that would be required to create a fully integrated network for walking and cycling and develop a prioritised list of schemes to deliver the network;
- deliver an enhanced network subject to budget availability and following due process;
- consider the potential for enhancing walking and cycling provision in the development of new road schemes.
Millbank Primary School is participating in the Welsh Government funded Bike It project, which is run by Sustrans Cymru. The pupils gave a presentation on their recent work in relation to cycling to school, and demonstrated the new skills they have learnt from the Bike It scheme
The Minister said:
“I have been very impressed with the pupils of Millbank school today and the skills they have learnt from the Bike It scheme. It’s clear that they have developed a love of cycling thanks to the project and ensuring that this spreads across the whole of Wales and amongst people of all ages is a vital component of the Active Travel Bill."
“The Bill aims to make it easier and safer for more people to walk and cycle and to make it possible for more children to cycle to school every day. We want to make walking and cycling the most natural and normal way of getting about and to ensure that active travel is a viable mode of transport shorter journeys. This will help make Wales a healthier and greener nation."
Lee Waters, Director, Sustrans Cymru added:
"There's a real potential to get people walking and cycling more for short local journeys to improve their health and their environment. This landmark Bill is a very practical initiative to overcome some of the barriers people face and, properly implemented, has the potential to make a real difference to communities across Wales."
Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Ruth Hussey, said:
“We know our environment and transport can have an impact on our health, and I believe the Active Travel Bill will make it easier in everyone in Wales to make healthier choices. Small changes to our daily routines, like walking and cycling short distances, can improve the way we feel as well as our physical health. By making changes to the environment and transport, the Active Travel Bill will make the healthy choice, the easier choice. This is a great step forward for Wales.”