Enabling people in Wales to live within a 20-minute walk of everyday services ‘will go a long way’ to reducing air pollution, a leading active travel charity has stressed.
Responding to the new Clean Air Plan for Wales, Sustrans urges the Welsh Government to step up efforts to encourage a modal shift from cars to more sustainable methods of transport.
The charity is calling for a 20-minute neighbourhood planning principle for all cities and towns – a move it says would help reduce reliance on motor vehicles.
Steve Brooks, Sustrans Cymru director, said: “The Clean Air Plan is a promising step towards cleaning up the air in which we breathe.
“We are pleased that sustainable places are at the heart of the plan and welcome infrastructure and service investment across Wales to support the reduction in air pollution.
“A modal shift from cars to more sustainable transport will go a long way to cleaning up our air.
“Sustrans is calling for a 20-minute neighbourhood planning principle for all cities and towns, where people live within a 20-minute walk of everyday services and are not reliant on the car.”
Published on 10 December, the Clean Air Plan for Wales provides a national framework within which all areas of society can work together towards the goal of reducing pollution.
Measures include investing an additional £60m over three years to implement the Active Travel Act – meaning local authorities must consult with communities and develop a safe network for walking and cycling.
Clean Air and Low Emission Zones will also be investigated, while greater emphasis will be placed on increasing the proportion of electric and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).