A quarter of primary school children in Wales are driven less than half a mile to school.
A report published by the Welsh Government has highlighted some interesting facts about our ‘Active Travel’ habits.
The Active Travel report looks at walking or cycling as a means of transport, that is walking or cycling in order to get to a particular destination such as work, the shops or to visit friends.
It does not cover walking and cycling done purely for pleasure, for health reasons, for training or competition, or for just walking the dog.
The research found that a third of secondary school children walk to school with 40% using the school bus.
Over half of primary school will walk to school with adults however, a quarter who live less than half a mile from their school will be taken by car.
As for adults 34 per cent either walked, as a means of transport, infrequently or not at all, 20 per cent walked once or twice a week, 46 per cent typically walked several times a week.
Around 17% of adults walk to work while 3% use a bicycle, just under half of people will walk to local shops ‘sometimes, or always’
The fall in rates of Active Travel amongst older age groups is associated with self reported disability or health problems that make it difficult or impossible to walk, or to ride a bicycle, for example people aged 75 and over 57 per cent have a problem that affects their walking.
The Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 is landmark Welsh law to make it easier for people to walk and cycle in Wales.
The Act – which is considered to be a world first – makes it a legal requirement for local authorities in Wales to map and plan for suitable routes for active travel, and to build and improve their infrastructure for walking and cycling every year.
It creates new duties for highways authorities to consider the needs of walkers and cyclists and make better provision for them.
It also requires both the Welsh Government and local authorities to promote walking and cycling as a mode of transport.
Active travel is seen to improve people’s health while less car travel will reduce congestion and reduce CO2 and other emissions.
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