Wheely big investment will encourage cycle use and help Wales meet net zero
Getting people out of cars and on to bikes is the aim of a £50m investment announced by Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters today (Friday 13 May).
Speaking on a visit to Cardiff-based cycling charity Pedal Power, the Deputy Minister said the money would fund cycling routes and new facilities right across Wales.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said:
“This is a substantial investment and part of our commitment to making cycling easier so people cut the amount of journeys they take by car and travel in a way that is better for our planet.
“Getting people out of cars for short journeys and encouraging them to walk or cycle instead is a huge challenge for us, but one that has to be met if we are to reach our net zero carbon emission target by 2050.
“We need to make sure that we have the right infrastructure and routes in place so that people have the choice of cycling for their everyday journeys – we need to make the right thing to do, the easy thing to do.”
One organisation that is benefiting from this investment is Pedal Power in South Wales.
As part of a series of Welsh Government e-bike pilot schemes, the cycling charity received £0.21m for its ‘See Cycling Differently’ project which is aimed at increasing the inclusivity of cycling by offering a range of e-cycles.
Thanks to the money received the charity has expanded its e-cycle fleet and is encouraging its users to cycle more.
Director of Pedal Power, Cardiff, Sian Donovan said:
“Cycling is a fantastic way for everyone – all ages and abilities - to have fun, gain more independence and enjoy a sense of freedom which we know has provided a lifeline to many during the pandemic.
“We were delighted to receive funding from the Welsh Government to help us to continue to remove barriers to cycling so that it can be truly accessible and inclusive for all.”
As part of the investment announced today, all local authorities will receive a minimum of £500k with additional allocations having been awarded based on the outcome of a competitive application process.
Notes to editors
In 1992, at the age of 17, Jeff Mayle tragically suffered an extra -dural haematoma and was left with a devastating brain injury after hitting his head on a concentrate pavement because of a skateboarding injury. Even though he has made a remarkable recovery he still struggles with weakness down the right-hand side of his body and significantly impaired speech.
Jeff has been using the facilities at Pedal Power since 2013 to get back and fore to work to the University of South Wales where he works as an IT Engineer. He has made use of the various bikes available since this time, firstly starting with a tandem bike which he cycled with his carer, then moving on to more independent cycling on an recumbent trike and most recently a new e-trike which has been funded by the Welsh Government.
Jacqui McQuillan, who previously worked in Pedal Power’s office was late coming to cycling. To help build her confidence and meet new people Jacqui joined a social group called The Wednesday Wanderers. Many of the group face various daily health challenges, but cycling helps bring them together to talk, build their confidence and also keep them fit at the same time.
Since joining the group, Jacqui’s confidence has grown immensely and now Jacqui is looking to swap her Isla e-cycle, a low step-through bike that is light and easy to use which is available from Pedal Power thanks to Welsh Government funding, and purchase her own e-bike and making a change for life.
Welsh Government e-bike pilot
The Welsh Government’s e-bike pilot scheme is designed to explore affordable ways to improve people’s mobility, increase access to sustainable and healthy ways of travelling and encourage people to reduce their car use and travel more sustainably. Pilots are currently being run in locations across Wales, including Swansea, Rhyl, Aber, Newtown, Barry and Cardiff.
Pedal Power’s ‘See Cycling Differently’ is one of a number of projects under the Welsh Government e-bike pilot schemes, and is aimed at increasing the inclusivity of cycling by offering a range of e-bikes.
Since 2021 the Welsh Government has made available more than £135m to invest in schemes and programmes to benefit active travel across Wales.
A list of local authorities and amounts awarded can be found on the Welsh Government website from 00:01hrs.