Transport Deputy Minister Lee Waters has called on local authorities to be radical and ambitious in their work to improve active travel across Wales.

First published:
28 March 2019
Last updated:
We need to think big and show ambition on Active Travel

Share this page

Transport Deputy Minister Lee Waters has called on local authorities to be radical and ambitious in their work to improve active travel across Wales.

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.

“Our Active Travel Act places a number duties on the local authority to promote active travel, securing new routes and facilities - and the whole local authority, not just the transport department. 

“Close working between planning, housing, economic development, education, regeneration and other service areas is essential to make the most of opportunities to increase levels of walking and cycling, to make sure that we have the right kind of infrastructure connecting the places people want and need to move between.

“Local authorities have not been ambitious enough with the first set of proposals they’re submitted. Even when fully realised, they will not yet create the infrastructure that enables people in Wales to choose walking and cycling as the most natural way to undertake shorter every day journeys. In fact, many fall a long way short.”

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.”