John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport
Today I have started public consultation on a suite of documents that will help deliver the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013. The Act, which is a landmark in promoting active travel, will be supported by two sets of guidance and an Action Plan.
The Design Guidance changes the way we plan and build walking and cycling infrastructure. It sets out the standards that walking and cycling routes should meet, at a level of detail on par with routes for driving. The design guidance is important for tackling one of the major barriers to people walking and cycling, which is that the infrastructure may not be available and may not be suitable for all users. A key reason for bringing the Act forward in the first place was to deliver better infrastructure so more people can walk and cycle safely.
The guidance was developed by a consortium of experts in their field, and reflects the latest thinking on walking and cycling infrastructure design, with a clear focus on equality and accessibility.
The Statutory Guidance on the Delivery of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 (the Delivery Guidance) sets out the processes and procedures to create the maps the Act requires and meet the other requirements of the Act.
The Act and its supporting guidance is one part of what the Welsh Government is doing to promote active travel. The Active Travel Action Plan has also been published for consultation today. This sets out the broader range of activities that the Welsh Government is undertaking to enable and encourage more people to walk and cycle more often.
Collectively, these consultations represent a significant step in our journey to make Wales truly a walking and cycling nation. The consultation on these documents will run for 12 weeks. I intend to commence the Act once the consultations have closed and implementation of the Act can begin in earnest.