A sustainable transport vision for post-lockdown Wales

Cycling UK is working in partnership towards a sustainable transport vision for Wales post-lockdown.

Cycling UK’s vision is of a healthier, happier and cleaner world, because more people cycle.

It's only by working in partnership, and by supporting the development of an integrated, sustainable transport system that we can make this happen.

In Wales, we are delighted to be working with others as part of Transform Cymru, and launching our vision of a sustainable transport system post-lockdown.

Transform Cymru promotes a vision where communities across Wales are connected through a sustainable, affordable, inclusive and safe transport network which meets the needs of all passengers regardless of age, background or ability.

 It is essential that we do everything we possibly can from a planning and highways infrastructure point of view to prioritise cycling and walking.

Paul Sullivan, Monmouthshire's youth, sport and active travel manager

If local authorities commit to Transform Cymru's seven steps, we will see something positive come out of this current crisis.

We have the opportunity to do things differently and create an environment where walking, cycling and public transport are the easiest ways in which to travel for local journeys and our communities are built around people and not cars.

With all but one local authority in Wales having been awarded funding for temporary infrastructure, we could see the start of this transformation with many of our streets turned into places through which people can move safely, whilst giving others space.

Cardiff being the capital city could be expected to lead the way, and their Recovery Strategy is bold. It includes road closures and cycle lanes along key arterial routes. It's driven not only by the desire to make Cardiff a clean, green city, but also because it's recognised that the economy depends on people being able to access the city centre in different ways.

Caro Wild, cabinet member for Strategic Planning & Transport says: "With businesses reliant on staff being able to get to work, and disruption to public transport, cycling has become an economic necessity."

It’s not just the cities that are benefiting from this investment, smaller towns across Wales will also see a raft of measures being introduced including; road closures around school drop off times, pop up cycle lanes and 20mph speed limits. The use of e-bikes is being promoted for key workers in Powys, and Gwynedd Council are going to relax existing restrictions for cyclists within towns.

Paul Sullivan, Monmouthshire's youth, sport and active travel manager told us:

"Here in Monmouthshire, we welcome the investment from Welsh Government in the response to Covid-19 to develop further local sustainable transport opportunities.

"Our submission focused on a variety of packages including, but not limited to; traffic regulation orders, 20mph zones, increasing Active Travel access to education, cycling infrastructure, bus station adjustments, temporary one way systems in selected town centres and e-bike schemes. 

"Our beautiful county brings its own challenges to Active Travel based on the rural nature of our environment. It is essential that we do everything we possibly can from a planning and highways infrastructure point of view to prioritise cycling and walking, with a view to reducing social isolation and supporting the health wellbeing of our residents. 

"The funding received will go a long way towards this within our seven settlements and we look forward to our upcoming Integrated Network Map consultation to help steer the future of Active Travel in Monmouthshire.”

Lee Waters, deputy minister for the Economy and Transport suggests that this is just the start with further funds being made available through the Transforming Towns initiative, so there is still much that can be done to make where you live better for active travel.

If you have ideas, you may like to plot them on Widen My Path and let your councillor know that you have done so. You could encourage your friends, neighbours, community groups and colleagues to do so as well.

We look forward to seeing how local authorities further develop their plans, and explore ways in which we and others can work with them so that cycling and walking are the choice for everyday local journeys.