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COVID-19 messaging

The Board raised the issue of confusing messaging around exercise during lockdown. It was confirmed that the reference to cycling within walking distance from home had been removed from the guidance.

It was also highlighted that messaging needs to avoid being adult centric and the language and guidance should reflect that children spend time outdoors differently e.g. to play rather than exercise. The messaging should also be inclusive, reflecting that some people use electric scooters and electric wheelchairs for exercise.

Local authority sustainable transport COVID-19 response fund

This meeting was held during the application window for the above fund. The rationale and application process was explained to the Board, who were supportive of the approach being taken. 

A total of 209 expressions of interest for individual measures or bundles of measures were received, with a total value of £45,651,459. All local authorities submitted expressions of interest.

N.B. Following the meeting, the successful schemes were announced: £15 million for ‘Covid-proof’ travel

Sustrans stated their ‘spaces to move’ programme, which is collecting data for all temporary interventions, will enable them to monitor the impact.

E-Bike schemes

The Board were informed of the Welsh Government’s intention to explore options for introducing a grant scheme for e-bikes. It is envisaged that this would be funded from the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle Transformation Fund. The Board were asked for their views and suggestions on how best to incentivise uptake of electric cycles and in particular, how this could be targeted at low income households.

There was a discussion around the ambition of the scheme and whether grants could be given to charities or social enterprises. It was also noted that any scheme should also be open to self-employed and non-employed people.

It was highlighted that since the central cap on purchase cost under the Cycle 2 Work scheme has been lifted, employees of participating employers are able to purchase e-bikes under the scheme. There was general agreement that use of the scheme should be encouraged. This would also reduce pressure should a grant be offered to private households.

Date of next usual meeting: 24 September 2020

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