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Welsh Government celebrates Clean Air Day with £58m boost for active travel

Llywodraeth Cymru yn dathlu Diwrnod Aer Glân gyda hwb o £58m i deithio llesol

More than £58m will be invested into ways to help us choose to walk and cycle for local journeys, Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters confirmed today (Thursday, June 15).

Speaking on Clean Air Day, the Deputy Minister with responsibility for transport outlined how the huge investment would fund new and improved active travel routes across Wales.

Since 2018, the Welsh Government has increased active travel funding from £15m to £70m – now more than £22 for every person in Wales, compared to dedicated active travel spending in England of about £1 per head in the same period.

The Deputy Minister was speaking on a visit to Flintshire where he saw first-hand how people were making the most of the new Sandy Lane to Saltney Ferry active travel route.

Deputy Minister Lee Waters said: “Walking and cycling provides a practical and vital response to help Wales meet its environmental and health targets.

“The Active Travel (Wales) Act puts pressure on us to deliver on high-quality active travel networks that encourage more and more people to regularly walk and cycle for journeys instead of using a car.

“Today’s funding is another substantial investment that will help us deliver ambitious plans across Wales that have all been designed to connect people with where they love and where they need to go.”

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and the regional transport strategy, Councillor Dave Hughes said,

“I am delighted to receive confirmation of Welsh Government’s further funding for two very important Safe Routes in Communities schemes which aim to improve accessibility within Holywell and Flint.   With these proposals we aim to improve conditions for walking and cycling by reducing traffic speeds, improving pedestrian priority and widening footways.  With the addition of green infrastructure these areas will provide an attractive and safe environment, encouraging more people to walk and cycle more frequently.”

The new £58m will see the construction of 37 new active travel routes and the detailed development of a further 22.

It will also be spent on 30 local authority Safe Routes in Communities schemes, with £3m for the Strategic Road Network.

Additionally, as part of this pot all 22 local authorities will receive a minimum of £500k which can be used for future scheme developments and minor works such as new crossing points, promotional work and new cycle parking.

You can see the full break down of funding here: Schemes funded in 2023–2024 | GOV.WALES 


Notes to editors

Notes to editors:

  • The £58m funding announced today represents the direct awards to local authorities and the schemes being progressed on the Strategic Road Network. The remainder of the £70m overall budget for active travel will be allocated to a range of interventions to tackle barriers to delivery and uptake of active travel, as well as active travel schemes that are taken forward in collaboration between different partners.
  • Transport makes up some 17 per cent of our total carbon emissions and so must play its part. It has, until now, been given a free pass when it comes to emissions reductions on the grounds that it is a key economic driver.
  • The Welsh Government has set a target of 45% of trips to be made by sustainable modes by 2040.
  • ‘School streets’ are increasingly used to improve safety and air quality around schools and create an environment that encourages walking, scooting, and cycling to school. A school street scheme involves temporary access restrictions for motorised vehicles on one or more streets near a school that are in force in the morning and afternoon for drop off and pick up.

Picture: Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters at Sandy Lane to Saltney Ferry active travel route with pupils at St Davids High School, Saltney and local Councillors.