Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters has today announced grant funding for local authorities of over £30 million to improve access to active travel, deliver safer routes and improved road safety to communities across Wales. 

Living Streets Cymru wants to see active travel as the preferred and best choice for people making short, everyday journeys.     

Rhiannon Hardiman, Manager, Living Streets Cymru comments:  

“Physical inactivity costs NHS Wales an estimated £650 million a year and our towns and cities are dangerously polluted. Making it possible for people to choose healthier and cleaner ways to travel can help tackle these big issues. 

This funding takes us closer to realising the vision of the Active Travel Act to transform Wales into an active travel nation’, the benefits of which are still yet to be felt across the country.  

“Our recent research for National Walking Month found that a third of Over 65s in Wales are prevented from walking on their local streets because they’re poorly maintained. So whilst ambitious schemes are admirable, even small changes like filling in a pavement pothole can make a big difference to helping people stay active and connected to their community.  

It’s important that the people who use the streets are the ones consulted with as they’re the ones who know what would help them walk more, so we welcome the commitment to delivering meaningful consultation on the next round of Integrated Network Maps. 

“We look forward to working with Welsh Government to create more strategic and ambitious active travel plan which allows people across Wales to enjoy the benefits walking brings.” 

It follows this week's announcement from First Minister Mark Drakeford (7 May) that "the Welsh Government believe that 20mph should be the default speed limit for residential areas. Commenting on this, Rhiannon Hardiman said:

"We’re delighted that the Welsh Government has listened to the voice of communities around Wales and is committing to slow motor speeds on urban roads. This will not only improve safety for those on foot, but also make sustainable travel more attractive, improving air quality and health as a result."