Welsh Conservatives have today (Saturday) announced plans to revolutionise cycling and active travel across Wales.
Today (Saturday) marks the start of Bike Week 2018, and the current cycling infrastructure across the country fails to meet the demand for non-automotive modes of transport.
Cycling and walking is a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative, proven to reduce travel congestion and carbon dioxide emissions. Essential to a sustainable and liveable twenty-first century Wales, cycling puts health and safety at the fore of urban development.
A recent report by the National Assemblyâ€™s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee stated that there has been a lack of progress in increasing the amount of people that are walking and cycling since the passage of the Active Travel Act in 2013.
Welsh Conservatives have announced a number measures to prioritise the development of cycling infrastructure in Wales and these include:
- The introduction of a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy within the first 100 days of a future Welsh Conservative-led Government
- To at least double the length of cycle routes in urban residential areas by 2040, prioritising local cycling networks around community anchors
- Establishing a â€˜Community Cycle Fundâ€™ that local communities can use to fund and design their own cycling network
- Increasing the number of secure bicycle parking options in Walesâ€™ towns and cities
Outlining the proposals, Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for the Environment, David Melding AM, said:
â€œThe current cycling infrastructure fails to meet the demand for non-automotive modes of transport around our urban areas in Wales.
â€œA future Welsh Conservative government would prioritise the development of our cycling infrastructure through the immediate introduction of a comprehensive Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy for Wales.
â€œBy establishing a Community Cycle Fund and doubling the length of cycle routes available, our plans will help reduce traffic congestion and carbon dioxide emissions.
â€œAnd by moving towards a bicycle-centric transportation scheme there will be hugely important health benefits such as improved cardiovascular health and reducing obesity.
â€œWelsh Conservatives will work with local communities to fill the void left by the Labour Government, and ensure Walesâ€™ commitment to increasing cycling and active travel measures is redoubled.â€�
Shadow Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Russell George AM, said:
â€œThe Welsh Governmentâ€™s commitment to increasing the prominence of cycling and walking has been questionable with a significant lack of leadership.
â€œFuture transport plans should be crafted to better connect our towns and cities and we would increase the number of secure bicycle parking options.
â€œUnder our Community Cycle Fund, community projects will be able to access funding to support a whole range of infrastructure projects depending specifically on what the community need and want.
â€œIf the Welsh Government cannot provide the necessary leadership to improve our active travel prospects, the Welsh Conservatives will.â€�