Hundreds lobby Welsh Government to demand more resources for safe walking & cycling infrastructure

Hundreds of people converged on the Senedd yesterday calling on the Welsh Government to match Scotland’s £20 per head spend on creating safe walking and cycling infrastructure.

Wales will not be able to deliver on the promises made in the Active Travel Act passed by the Assembly in 2013 unless this happens.

More than a hundred people took part in an organised bike ride down the Taff Trail from Pedal Power in Pontcanna to join in the lobby, accompanied by Assembly Members and Welsh Government Minister Lee Waters AM.

Other groups supporting the event included politicians, health and environmental organisations and walking and cycling groups, with speeches from senior Assembly Members and health group representatives.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething AM addressed the crowds: “Walking and cycling needs to be integrated into our daily lives, from getting to work, to taking the kids to school, we can make all these adjustments to ensure we’re being more proactive as a society and reducing our use of cars.

“It is vital to the health of the nation that people are able to build physical activity into their daily routines.”

Huw Irranca-Davies AM, Chair of the Cross Party Group on the Active Travel Act, added: “Active travel has a huge amount to offer Wales, but it will only happen if we have the resources in place and an effective plan to deliver the safe infrastructure we need.

“If we get it right, we will help tackle many of Wales’ most pressing problems, such as carbon emissions, air quality, physical inactivity and traffic congestion.”

For comparison, Manchester is to invest £18 per head on cycling and walking. Cycling UK recommended £23.81 per head to keep the obesity crisis in check. There’s more on the topic here.

Cycling UK’s Duncan Dollimore stated: “The Active Travel Act was a visionary piece of legislation, but without increased funding the people of Wales will be left with a legislative aspiration to increase levels of cycling, but nothing to make it happen.

“That’s why people have cycled on the Senedd today to ask Assembly Members to commit to proper levels of investment in active travel to deliver the Act’s vision of making walking and cycling the most normal and natural ways of getting about.”

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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