The Welsh Government has unveiled a record funding package to help councils promote active travel as the first choice for short local journeys.
Announced on 5 February, the 2021/22 budget has allocated more than £55 million to be spent on active travel, an increase of £20 million from last year.
The figure also represents an eleven-fold increase in the dedicated funding for active travel over the last five years (£5 million in 2016).
The Welsh Government says the rise in investment is part of a major push to support sustainable transport and tackle the climate crisis.
Councils have been invited to apply for schemes that can ‘make a real difference’ to the numbers walking and cycling in their areas.
They can use the money for small-scale schemes like upgrading narrow routes that have become overcrowded, or removing barriers that block wheelchairs or cycle trailers, as well as for the planning of bigger and more complex schemes.
Lee Waters, deputy minister for economy and transport, said: “We want to make it easier for people to make everyday journeys in ways that benefit their health and the environment.
“Changing travel habits is not easy to achieve but we have to make a big effort if we are to tackle our health crisis and our climate crisis.
“We want local authorities to be ambitious in their plans, and to reach out to people who currently would not consider swapping a local car journey for a bike ride or a journey on foot and design safe routes that would encourage them to give it a try.”