Welsh National Transport Plan needs "cycling facilities"

Cardiff City Cycle campaigners looking to make Cardiff the Amsterdam of the UK
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Welsh National Transport Plan needs "cycling facilities"

CTC Cymru has offered its expertise to the Welsh Government on developing effective, economically valuable cycling infrastructure.

CTC Cymru has made its official response to the Welsh Government by offering its expertise in developing effective and economically valuable cycling infrastructure, and highlighting that the draft Welsh National Transport Plan is somewhat limited.

As part of the framework of the Wales Transport Strategy, the National Transport Plan focuses on delivering five key priorities:

  • economic growth
  • access to employment
  • tackling poverty
  • sustainable travel and safety
  • access to services

In its response, CTC Cymru makes the case that the draft plan fails to properly address how Active Travel will aid in the delivery of these priorities, and further fails to include the cycle facilities that Wales needs at a local level.

Towns and cities will work far better if - as the Active Travel Act guidance recommends - a small proportion of the available finances are used to provide safe, door-to-door, Dutch-quality cycle facilities. Good cycling facilities allow traffic flow many times better than the same space devoted to motoring."

Richard Keatinge, CTC Cymru

Department for Transport statistics prove that investment in cycling can bring a much greater return on investment (ROI) than motoring. Current figures suggest that road investment typically has a ROI of 2:1, while cycling on average will see a ROI of 5:1. Investment in cycling therefore provides economic benefits much greater than any motoring development, and has further spin-off benefits in terms of health, and even aiding in the rejuvenation of our high streets.

CTC's recent report 'The Economic Cycle' estimated that by increasing cycling journeys from the current 2 per cent of all journeys to 20 per cent by 2050 could generate cumulative economic benefits from health, decongestion and other areas worth £248bn! 

The draft Welsh National Transport Plan however fails to mention the economic benefits of an active travel policy, and has set no target for active travel. It offers very little beyond haphazard road schemes based on dubious hopes of economic benefit, and a few cycle facilities of low quality in locations relevant almost entirely to leisure cycling.

CTC Cymru is actively campaigning for a comprehensive cycle network in Wales in the near future. This would provide joined-up routes for cycling and is part of requirements outlined in the Active Travel Wales Act. In its current format, the Welsh Government’s draft National Transport Plan makes no provision for cycle networks.

There are also no targets in the draft plan regarding the modal split or budget allocation for cycling. Indeed the term ‘modal split’ does not appear once in the policy. Without such targets, it is difficult to imagine how the Government will meet its sustainability targets. Without targets, there is little in this plan to suggest that anything will change, except lots of specific roads building projects.

Cycling, with its myriad benefits from economic to health, does not easily sit under one department's brief. Recognising this, CTC Cymru in their response has also called for joined-up thinking across all Government departments to enable meaningful targets which will support their Active Travel objectives. 

While the consultation is now closed, CTC Cymru will continue making the case for cycling and active travel to the Welsh Government, and will provide a full report and response to the Welsh Government's decision once this is made public.

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