Record funding announced for Active Travel in Wales
The Welsh Government has announced the allocation of a new multi-million pound funding package for local authorities across Wales to develop their walking and cycling networks.
Earlier this week, Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, announced £38m for active travel and road safety. Of that, a dedicated Active Travel Fund of £20m will directly fund 25 larger schemes in 14 local authorities. In addition, all local authorities will share £9m to ‘take forward smaller improvements in their active travel networks and prepare larger schemes to be brought forward’.
The new funding adds to the £15.4m that was released in June to provide ‘Covid-proof’ measures for walking, cycling and public transport.
Together, these grants represent the largest ever investment in local active travel in Wales.
BetterPoints welcomes the Welsh Government’s commitment to active travel. Our work with Leicestershire County Council has shown that temporary measures such as pop-up lanes have been welcomed by the public and cyclists feel safer for using them.
However, we urge against putting the money into infrastructure alone. If we are to truly take advantage of this opportunity to improve the way we travel in the UK, we need to change hearts, minds and habits too.
Behaviours that were adopted out of necessity during lockdown will quickly subside if they’re allowed to. Now is the time to invest in interventions that turn those greener and healthier behaviours into habits, ultimately saving further public money – and, more importantly, people’s lives.
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