AM backs Active Travel Bill

Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones has backed the Active Travel Bill, providing that disabled travellers needs are fully understood and met, which aims to make walking and cycling easier and safer by requiring local authorities to plan fully integrated active travel networks.

The Welsh Labour Government’s Minister for Transport, Carl Sargeant laid the Bill at the National Assembly for Wales (Monday February 18th) which is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and has been backed by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales and Sustrans Cymru.

The legislation will require local authorities in Wales to:

  • identify and map the network of routes within their areas that are safe and appropriate for walking and cycling;
  • identify and map the enhancements that would be required to create a fully integrated network for walking and cycling and develop a prioritised list of schemes to deliver the network;
  • deliver an enhanced network subject to budget availability and following due process;
  • consider the potential for enhancing walking and cycling provision in the development of new road schemes.

Speaking in the Senedd on the importance of this Bill for disabled people, Ann Jones said:

“It’s vital that disabled groups and their families are at the fore-front of our policy decisions. I welcome the inclusion of safety information such as; path width, surface type, obstacles and whether facilities such as toilets can be found on route.

“As it’s been stated already, ‘Disabled active travellers are arguably one group who could benefit the most from enhanced active travel provision, as well as the group who could be the most disadvantaged by poor quality provision.’”

Speaking after the statement, Ann Jones added:

“I hope that this landmark Bill will get more people out of their cars and get them walking and cycling for short local journeys to improve their health and the environment.”