Cycling UK President and Channel 4 newscaster, Jon Snow, has written to Assembly Member candidates asking them to pledge their support towards improving investment and leisure access for cycling, should they be successful on 5 May.
Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, has identified two simple ways to make Wales the healthier, greener and more prosperous nation its Active Travel (Wales) Act and the Well-being of Future Generations Act are designed to create. Our President, Jon Snow, has therefore asked Assembly Member candidates the following:
- Investment. Do you support dedicated funding for the Active Travel (Wales) Act of at least £10 per head?
- Leisure. Do you support the adoption of Scottish presumed access laws as proposed by the Welsh Government so as to increase the enjoyment of the Welsh countryside for everyone?
The Welsh Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee’s report ‘Active Travel: The Start of the Journey’, while praising the Active Travel (Wales) Act, recognised it as hampered by its lack of dedicated funding.
The report, published at the end of February, backs Cycling UK’s recommendation of annual funding of at least £10 per head, and calls on the Welsh Government to set up a specific budget line dedicated to supporting active travel.
Jon Snow, writing to the candidates, said:
“Cycling’s benefits in terms of health, the environment and the economy are well known. It’s an easy way to incorporate exercise into our daily life, it’s emissions-free and for every pound invested in cycling, the economy gets five back.”
David Murray, Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns and Communications, said:
“Wales currently has the most progressive and forward thinking policy throughout the British Isles in its Active Travel Act. The Act is a world first, and shows that Wales is willing to address head on its share of the UK’s serious health problems through legislation, not just talk.
“However, progress is faltering due to a lack of financial commitment. To succeed in its ambition, this Act needs to be properly funded. It needs at least £10 per head dedicated to active travel a year, and for Wales to adopt progressive access laws as identified by the last Government.
“Our President, Jon Snow, has therefore written to candidates for this May’s election asking them to support dedicated funding and increased access if they are successful in their campaign. We’re now inviting Welsh cycling voters to also write to their candidates, which they can easily do at: www.cyclinguk.org/votebike.”
All responding candidates’ views will be made available on the Cycling UK website from 18 April. Cycling UK is also inviting voters in Wales to contact their candidates to support these twin asks to improve active travel, and has created an easy-to-use online tool at: www.cyclinguk.org/votebike