Wales has the tools but needs to use them

Cardiff Cycle City group calling for better cycle provision in March 2015
Sam Jones's picture

Wales has the tools but needs to use them

Statistics for cycling in Wales show a disturbing trend as cycling casualties increase, as CTC Cymru calls for the Welsh Government to make good on the ambitions contained in the Active Travel Act Wales.

The Welsh Government has recently published figures showing that the number of killed or seriously injured (KSI) cyclists in Wales in 2014 (138) very nearly doubled in comparison with the baseline average from 2004-2008 (70). The year before (2013) saw 100 cyclist KSI. This is a huge increase, not matched by the 9% rise in pedal cycle traffic between 2007 and 2013. 

The increase in cycling casualties is alarming and highlights the need to ensure that all opportunities to make Wales a safer country for cycling are fully exploited."

Gwenda Owen, CTC

Commenting on these figures, Gwenda Owen, CTC Councillor for Wales said:“The Welsh Government has stated that it is committed to increasing the number of people cycling.

"We have the opportunity to deliver a first class network of safe urban routes through the Active Travel (Wales) Act, and the potential to increase safe rural routes through the process begun by the Access and Recreation Green Paper.  We need to invest to ensure that these ambitions can be realised and the rise in casualties halted.”

The Active Travel (Wales) Act received Royal Assent and became law in November 2013, coming into force at the end of September 2014. The Act makes it mandatory for local authorities in Wales to map existing cycle networks and plot new ones to create a joined up network - following the processes described in the Act's 'implementation guidelines'. It also requires all Welsh highway authorities to have regard to the Act's 'design guidelines' (which CTC helped to draft), when planning and building any new highway and traffic schemes (including on- and off-road cycling routes), when managing and regulating traffic movement and parking, and when carrying out highway maintenance work. This duty also applies to the Welsh government itself, as the highway authority for Wales's motorway and trunk road network. For more, see a CTC presentation on the Act's requirements.

CTC Cymru actively campaigned for a comprehensive cycle network in Wales and continues to do so. However, while committed to active travel through the Act, the Welsh Government’s draft National Transport Plan has made no provision for cycle networks.

There are also no targets in the draft plan regarding the modal split or budget allocation for active travel. Without these, the Government is likely to struggle in meeting meet its sustainability targets, with little to suggest that anything will change, except lots of specific roads building projects.

In March, CTC Cymru made its official response to the Welsh Government, and offered its expertise in developing effective and economically valuable cycling infrastructure, and highlighting the limitations of the draft Welsh National Transport Plan.

You can learn more about CTC Cymru and their activities in making cycling better in Wales by visiting their website.

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