“A golden opportunity for change” – Deputy Minister Lee Waters
- Visible increases in number of people cycling and walking
- £38 million to make Wales a safer place to cycle, scoot and walk
- Biggest ever investment in local active travel improvements
The coronavirus pandemic has driven huge change in people’s travel habits, with many more of us walking and cycling to work, shops and for recreation than before.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, is determined to grasp this opportunity for change and make sure people continue to ditch the car in favour of cycling or walking when the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Today, the Welsh Government has announced £38 million to make Wales a safer place to cycle, scoot and walk.
Together with the £15.4m announced last month, this is the largest ever investment in local active travel improvements in Wales, which will fund projects to make it safer for children and adults to get to school or work on foot, bike or scooter.
Schemes include £259,500 to build a walkway over the railway bridge near Ysgol Ty Fynnon in Shotton and install of cycle friendly traffic calming features along King George Street. The funding will also improve an existing footpath to provide better access to the Job Centre, swimming pool and library.
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 to make it far safer for children walking and cycling to school.
Deputy Minister Lee Waters said: “The coronavirus 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. That’s exactly what I hope the £38 million I’ve announced today will achieve.
“This £38m is a very significant investment in creating safe travel routes and better connections in our towns and cities, so people still have the confidence to cycle and walk around Wales even when our lives return to normal.”
The Deputy Minister continued to say that real progress on active travel so far has been too slow and has not achieved the change in behaviour Wales needs to see. 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 transform Wales’ travel habits and choose options which protect our environment and benefit our health.”
Notes to editors
The Active Travel Fund provides £20m directly for 25 larger schemes and packages of schemes in 14 local authorities.
In addition, it provides all local authorities with a share of £9m to take forward smaller improvements on their active travel networks and prepare larger schemes for being brought forward.
The Safe Routes in Communities grant of £4.14 million will support 22 schemes, specifically focused on creating safe walking and cycling routes to schools across 17 local authorities.
The Road Safety Capital grant of £3.88 million will support 18 schemes across 12 local authorities. All local authorities have been awarded a share of £950,000 revenue to take forward training initiatives.
Ysgol Ty Fynnon, Shotton, Flintshire. £259,500
The scheme comprises of a pedestrian route over the Railway Bridge and the implementation of a 20mph mandatory speed limit along the extents of King George Street. Cycle friendly traffic calming features will be installed at regular intervals along King George Street. The scheme also includes an upgrade of existing footpath/ bridle path giving access to the Job Centre, swimming pool and library.
Rhondda Cynon Taf - £419,000
Cilfynydd Safe Routes in Communities. £204,500
This scheme includes a new pedestrian crossing on the A4054 (Cilfynydd Road) within the vicinity of the footbridge that provides access to Pontypridd High School and a 20mph speed limit within the vicinity. A section of the walking route along the A4054 (Pontshonnorton Road) will also be improved through the creation of a new section of footway, which will remove a dangerous pinch point.
Active Travel Fund
Flintshire - Greenfield Valley active travel link phase 3. £247,500.
The scheme is a package of local improvements over a 3 year phased delivery programme. Improving walking and cycling links through the Greenfield Valley to link Holywell with the coast.
Powys - Llandrindod Wells – Spa Road East to Cefnllys Lane. £180,000
This scheme will establish an active travel route on Spa Road East in Llandrindod Wells, providing active travel access to Cefnllys primary school, with connecting links to nearby housing estates and places of employment and health facilities.
Swansea - Sketty & Mayals Network Links. £1,877,000.
This scheme comprises of three elements: The Mayals Road Link will create infrastructure for cycling along this distributor link; Sketty Parks Link project will facilitate onward links through the Sketty Park Estate to link with Olchfa Comprehensive School and Bishop Gore Comprehensive School and; Construction of the Olchfa Link which will enable access for a large area of Killay.
Cardiff Cycle Superhighways Stage 1. £2,773,000.
Cycle Superhighways will provide continuous routes that are intuitive and comfortable to use and segregated from motor vehicles and pedestrians where needed. This package of interventions in eight locations, includes cycle routes, pedestrian facilities, junction improvements, surfacing, route widening, 20mph speed limit and crossing facilities.
Road Safety capital
Neath Port Talbot – 20mph Zones - £205,000
Implementation of self-enforcing 20mph speed limits outside 6 schools. Proposed works include soft recycled rubber speed cushions, traffic regulation orders for the 20 mph speed limits and parking restrictions, advanced warning signage, improved road markings, anti-skid surfacing and the realignment of junctions and the provision of a pedestrian refuge.
Swansea - B4290, St Helen’s Road - £151,300
Scheme includes a number of measures to increase safety for pedestrians and aims to increase the uptake of active travel. Works include the reduction of speed limits to include speed plateaus and improving crossing points. The scheme will also adjust parking and loading in the area to further improve pedestrian visibility and safety.
A full list of successful schemes for each of the grants by local authority will be published on the Welsh Government website.