Wales pursues ‘golden opportunity for change’

12.00 | 23 July 2020 | |

The Welsh Government says it is determined to grasp the opportunity for change and ensure people continue to favour active travel over car use when the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

On 20 July, Lee Waters, deputy minister for economy and transport, announced £38 million of funding, which together with the £15.4m announced last month, represents the largest ever investment in local active travel improvements in Wales.

The money will fund projects to make it safer for children and adults to get to school or work on foot, bike or scooter – and includes £259,500 to build a walkway over the railway bridge near Ysgol Ty Fynnon in Shotton.

In Neath Port Talbot, £205,000 will be used to implement 20mph speed limits outside six schools, as well as improving road markings and laying anti-skid surfacing.

Lee Waters said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed our lives. It stopped our daily routines in their tracks and has forced us all to live differently.

“Coronavirus has brought much hardship and tragedy. It has also presented us with a golden opportunity for change – one which I am determined to grasp with both hands.

“More people than ever before are walking and cycling to work, visit friends and pop to the shop. With fewer cars on the road, first-time cyclists have had the confidence to rent, borrow or buy a bike, rather than reaching for the car keys.

“However, as coronavirus restrictions ease and our roads become busier, it’s vital our roads remain walking and cycle-friendly if a long term change to our travel habits is to succeed.”

The deputy minister continued to say that real progress on active travel has been too slow and that more needs to be done to create real behavioural change. 

He added: “I’m calling on local authority leaders to also seize this golden opportunity and work with their communities to develop schemes for the future that encourage more people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys.

“I want us to work together to transform Wales’ travel habits and choose options which protect our environment and benefit our health.”



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