Welsh Government Active Travel Bill – “World First”
By connecting key sites such as workplaces, hospitals, schools and shopping areas with traffic free routes and cycle lanes the Bill will encourage people to rely less on their cars when making short journeys.
If passed the Welsh Government Bill – which is considered to be a world first – will make it a legal requirement for local authorities to map and create fully integrated transport networks that consider the needs of walkers and cyclists.
The Minister has submitted a number of amendments to make the Bill even more effective in making walking and cycling easier and safer in Wales. These amendments include:
- A duty to promote active travel and to report annually on the activity undertaken.
- A requirement on local authorities to report on their progress on the network, level of usage and associated costs.
- A requirement on Welsh Ministers to report annually on levels of active travel.
- A requirement on highways authorities to take into account the needs of walkers and cyclists when carrying out certain key functions under various highways acts, such as road works.
John Griffiths said:
“I am confident that this Bill, if agreed by the Assembly, will make a big difference to the people of Wales.
“By increasing the levels of walking and cycling we can boost our economy, create jobs, increase tourism, improve the health of our nation and cut congestion.
“It gives me great satisfaction to think that we’re leading the way with the Active Travel Bill and that this piece of legislation is attracting envious glances from other parts of the UK.
“With the Bill set to become law later today I believe we have the chance to make Wales a much more of a cycling and walking nation.”
The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report called for political leadership from the UK Government in order to achieve cycling growth and used the Active Travel (Wales) Bill as a glowing example of how legislation can be used to make cycling easier.
The final stages of the proposed legislation go before Assembly Members on Tuesday, 01 October.
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