CTC, the national cycling charity, backs Welsh Assembly’s Enterprise
and Business Committee’s report
CTC, the national cycling charity, today (Monday 22 February) warmly welcomes the findings and recommendations of the Welsh Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee’s report ‘Active Travel: The Start of the Journey’. CTC also urges the Government to follow the advice of its own advisor Professor Stuart Cole and provide funding of at least £10 per head.
The report reviews the progress of the Active Travel (Wales) Act which was passed in 2013. The Act, which CTC saw as ground-breaking legislation and the first of its kind worldwide, is expressly designed to encourage more people to walk or cycle.
Upon the Act’s introduction, CTC was dismayed that it did not allocate a budget to match its ambition, and is therefore pleased to see the Committee recognise this failing in its report. Like the Committee, CTC believes the “Welsh Government should have a specific budget line dedicated to supporting active travel. The budget for active travel should be used for both supporting active travel infrastructure projects and promoting active travel.”
The Department for Transport conservatively estimates that investment in cycling generates savings of at least £5 for every £1 spent, mainly through health benefits but also through reduced congestion and pollution, and improved journey quality. With Wales facing a public health crisis due to increased obesity rates, active travel is a simple solution that can be easily adopted into everyday life.
Roger Geffen MBE, CTC Policy Director, said:
“The Active Travel Act has in so many ways set the gold standard for how cycling could be, with its structure of network planning, high design standards and continuous improvement. Northern Ireland has recently indicated it is keen to adopt a similar approach, and cyclists in both England and Scotland can only look on with envy.
“However, the Act has always been hampered by its lack of funding. CTC believes the Welsh Government should invest at least £10 per head and is pleased to see the Committee make funding a priority among its eight excellent recommendations.
“Ahead of the elections in May, CTC will ask all candidates for the National Assembly for Wales to support our funding call so that we can see a truly active and healthy Wales.”