Living Streets has welcomed progress on the Active Travel (Wales) Bill after the Welsh government has brought forward key amendments which the charity has been calling for.
The amendments will require local authorities and Welsh Minsters to exercise their functions under the Active Travel Act in 'a manner designed to promote active travel journeys'. The government has also brought forward an amendment which will require local authorities to consider how all of their functions can support active travel journeys – for example, by ensuring schools are teaching children valuable road safety skills.
“We’re delighted that the Welsh Government has responded to our calls for the Active Travel (Wales) Bill to make reference to the need for Welsh ministers and local authorities to promote active travel. We’ve been calling for these changes since the Bill was published over a year ago, so it’s great to see the evidence we gave to the Bill committee informing decisions like this. We also welcome the amendment that will require councils to consider how all their functions can support more active travel – ensuring it’s on the agenda for all council departments.
“The Bill now has real potential to transform walking and cycling in Wales, and to reverse the trend of increasing car use that Wales has seen over the past decade. With 35% of children in Wales aged 2-15 overweight or obese, the Active Travel Bill is an opportunity for the Welsh Government to prioritise pedestrians, ensuring safe walking routes to and from schools with lower traffic speeds, keeping our children safe today and healthy in the future.”
“The Bill now has real potential to transform walking and cycling in Wales, and to reverse the trend of increasing car use that Wales has seen over the past decade.