Rhiannon Hardiman, Wales Manager for Living Streets Cymru, said:
“We applaud Cardiff Council for prioritising more sustainable forms of travel but walking must receive the same investment and infrastructure as public transport and cycling.
“The council’s plans to roll out 20mph limits across the city and to introduce road user pricing shows a commitment to making the city more walkable, although the latter may not encourage people who already live in Cardiff to choose more sustainable forms of transport if residents are excluded from the charge. It is also great to see the roll out of the ‘streets for health’ initiative so that people can reclaim the streets for safe and enjoyable walking.
“However, to make Cardiff a city for everyone, the council must place more of an emphasis on walking, the most accessible – and free – form of sustainable transport. Walking reduces the risk of heart disease, respiratory disease, certain cancers and Type II diabetes. It is also good for mental health and wellbeing, can reduce social isolation in older adults and improves children’s performance at school. Sadly, a 2019 report revealed that only 44% of children in Wales travel actively to primary school and just 34% of secondary school pupils walk or cycle.
“We need a well-connected, attractive and safe walking network across the city to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport. Cardiff Council should introduce a walking plan with specific targets so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of walking.”