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Written Statement - White Paper – Proposals for Legislation on Active Travel (routes for walking and cycling)

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Carl Sargeant, Minister for Local Government and Communities

On 12 July 2011, the First Minister made a statement on the Legislative Programme for the Welsh Government. In that statement he announced his intention to legislate to introduce a duty on Local Authorities to provide and maintain cycle paths in key areas.

Today [9th May 2012] I am issuing a White Paper to seek views on proposals for an Active Travel (Wales) Bill. I am proposing that the Bill requires Local Authorities in Wales have a duty 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.  

I am also seeking views on whether the definitions of rights of way in Wales should be amended.

The consultation will end on 14th August 2012 and I will be considering responses in determining the final shape of the legislation. I expect to introduce the Bill to the National Assembly for Wales in spring 2013.