Posted: Sat 1st Feb 2020

Living Streets Cymru urges people to take their manifesto survey to improve neighbourhoods

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Feb 1st, 2020


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A national charity is asking people in Wales to give their views about walking and cycling ahead of the 2021 Welsh Parliament election. 

Living Streets Cymru, which is part of the UK charity for everyday walking, has published its survey which will shape its manifesto asks to political parties in Wales.  

Living Streets Cymru wants to “achieve a better walking environment for everyone and inspire people to walk more, to improve public health and air quality, and alleviate the effects of climate change.”

In the run up to the May 2021 election, the charity will campaign to ensure the next Welsh Government commits to prioritise walking by increasing investment and changing legislation. 

The Living Streets Cymru survey asks people in Wales to share their experiences of their area so the organisation can show decision makers why change is needed.  

Many people report problems with public transport, pavement parking, unsafe pavements and pedestrian crossings, speeding traffic and congested routes to school and work – and these can prevent people from choosing to walk.  

Pavement parking is a particular problem, and in 2019, a Living Streets Cymru report revealed that 83 per cent of people in Wales want to see it banned, while a quarter of people aged over 65 in Wales are prevented from walking on their local streets because of blocked pavements. 

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 can improve children’s performance at school. Despite this, a 2019 report revealed that only 44 per cent of children in Wales travel actively to primary school and just 34 per cent of secondary school pupils walk or cycle. 

Rhiannon Hardiman, Wales Manager for Living Streets Cymru, said:  

“The 2021 Welsh Parliamentary Election is a real opportunity to ensure our future Welsh Government prioritises walking for the benefit of people’s health and the climate.” 

 “Walking rates continue to fall in Wales, so we need a government with bold ambition, in the spirit of the Active Travel (Wales) Act, with more investment and change at a national and local level. Air pollution contributes to around 2,000 deaths a year in Wales, with those in the poorest communities often worst affected, and it is a huge contributor to climate change.

We must make walking more appealing and accessible in order to reduce reliance on cars and improve public health.” 

 The survey closes at the end of February and can be accessed here www.livingstreets.org.uk/senedd21 

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