The Welsh Government has announced today (July 20) a £38m investment package to make Wales a safer place to cycle, scoot and walk.
Calling it “A golden opportunity for change”, Deputy Minister Lee Waters has committed to grasping the opportunities presented by the pandemic and supporting residents to choose more sustainable methods of getting from around.
Improvements to support this opportunity include the building of walkways, cycle routes, cycle friendly traffic calming features and footpath improvements.
The area around six schools in Neath Port Talbot will be transformed into 20mph zones with new road markings and anti-skid surfacing to make it 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 Active Travel Fund is providing £20m for 14 local authorities undertaking larger schemes, and £9m to allow them to develop smaller improvements.
The Safe Routes in Communities grant has provided £4.13m to focus specifically on the creation of safe walking and cycling routes with The Road Safety Capital grant contributing the remaining funds.