Welsh Government sets aside £75 million for active travel in 2021

The Welsh Government has set out a new Active Travel policy worth £75 million, which will fund both walking and cycling investments.

Announced this week, the dedicated budget has grown by £5 million since the start of this Government term, which Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters says “shows our commitment to taking forward the vision we outlined in our new transport strategy.”

The money will be spread wide, with 44 large schemes funded for local authorities through a first tranche worth £47 million, which will be released this year. Included in this sum is also a £14m ‘core allocation’ shared among all local authorities. A further £20m will be allocated later in the year to support more schemes.

A full list of schemes set to be funded can now be found here.

Highlights include:

  • The Cardiff Cycleways project will receive almost £5m in funding, with a further £1.2m provided to create safe routes around four schools.
  • In Carmarthenshire £1.8m will progress work on the ‘Llanelli Masterplan’ through the provision of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge, and new and improved paths.
  • Conwy Council will receive £490,000 for a 4km off-carriageway cycle link between Towyn and the south of Kinmel Bay.

The investment in active travel forms part of funding package said to be worth more than £210m to support the new transport strategy.

The Transport minister added: “Over the past five years we’ve been able to dramatically increase the amount we spend on active travel.

“Before the establishment of the dedicated Active Travel Fund, active travel projects not focused on schools had to compete for general local transport grant funding, without a set budget. The Active Travel Fund has grown since 2018 from its initial £10m to £70m for 2021/22.

“Continuing our funding to create safe routes to schools is particularly important as we know that embedding healthy travel habits early leads to lasting benefits.

“Our investment will lead to better connected towns and cities and contributes to efforts to tackle the climate emergency, cut congestion, improve public health and clean up our air quality.”

A funding breakdown of English local authorities (taken from a separate transport budget to that allocated to Welsh active travel) can be found here.