Young people in Wales overwhelmingly in favour of higher spending on active travel

Pledging to support active travel is popular with young voters
Rob Kingston's picture

Young people in Wales overwhelmingly in favour of higher spending on active travel

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those aged 16 to 24 support allocating 10% of the Welsh transport budget to cycling and walking, while just 8% oppose it, a YouGov poll has found
  • Commitment to active-travel spending is a key part of Cycling UK’s Welsh election manifesto
  • National cycling charity has launched an action allowing people to write to their election candidates asking them to pledge their support for its aims

The youngest generation of Welsh voters show strong support for a key aim of Cycling UK’s Welsh election manifesto: for the next Welsh Government to commit a tenth of its transport budget to active travel.

In a poll carried out this month by YouGov on behalf of Cycling UK, 1,194 people were asked whether they would support or oppose a pledge by the Welsh Government to spend at least 10% of the transport budget on active travel. Overall, 49% said they would support this commitment, while 15% would oppose it. Of the remainder, 27% said they would neither support nor oppose such a move and 10% didn’t know.

Support was strongest among those aged 16 to 24, with nearly eight times as many (63%) in favour of the spending pledge as opposing it (8%). Levels of support decreased with increasing age of respondents, but still outweighed opposition in all age groups: of those aged 65+, 41% were in favour while 18% were against.

Securing a pledge to commit one-tenth of transport spending to active travel is among the 11 asks for the next Welsh Government set out by Cycling UK in its manifesto for cycling, which was published in February ahead of the Senedd elections on 6 May. The document sets out a vision to make Wales a nation where cycling is for everyone: where more everyday journeys are active travel journeys, where the countryside is more accessible, the air is cleaner and people’s health and wellbeing are prioritised.

Overall, more than three times as many people surveyed support our target for spending on cycling and walking than oppose it. Among 16- to 24-year-olds it is almost eight times as many, and we hope that the next Welsh Government will listen to young people

Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK engagement officer for Wales

Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK engagement officer for Wales, said the results of the poll send a clear message to politicians that increasing funding for active travel is a vote-winner, especially among the age group who may be voting for the first time. “Overall, more than three times as many people surveyed support our target for spending on cycling and walking than oppose it. Among 16- to 24-year-olds it is almost eight times as many, and we hope that the next Welsh Government will listen to young people and deliver on the promise of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

“But the results show that support outweighs opposition regardless of voting intention, age, social class or location in Wales. During the pandemic we have seen quieter roads encourage many more people to ride bikes both for leisure and for essential journeys. It proved that people will choose to cycle if they feel safe. The public has sent a clear message: the Welsh Government must seize the opportunity to maintain this momentum and create a healthier, happier and greener nation.”

The March 2021 budget included an additional £20m for active travel in Wales, increasing total planned 2021-22 investment in active travel projects and interventions to around £75m.

In addition to publishing the election manifesto, Cycling UK has created an online action (in Welsh, and English) where the public can find out which of their MS candidates have made the pledge to support its aims, and write to those who haven’t. 

Find out if your MS candidates have pledged support

ENDS

Contact information 

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238 315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please call Rob Kingston on 07880 424 912 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org. Out of hours, call 07786 320 713.

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Cycling UK has asked candidates, if elected, to pledge their support for:
    • Increasing investment in cycling and walking to at least 10% of the transport budget
    • Developing safe active travel networks which are accessible by all communities, enabling people to choose to cycle as an alternative to driving.
    • Enabling people in rural communities to cycle and reducing rural car-dependency.
  3.  The full Cycling UK election manifesto can be downloaded at https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default/files/document/2021/02/cycling_uk_wales_may_elections_final.pdf and in Welsh at https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default/files/document/2021/02/cycling_uk_wales_may_elections_final_cymraeg.pdf.
  4. Responses to the YouGov poll question “To what extent would you support or oppose the Welsh Government pledging to spend at least 10% of the transport budget on active travel (cycling and walking)?” are broken down by age group below:
     

    Age

     

    16-24

    25-49

    50-64

    65+

    Weighted Sample

    165

    439

    289

    301

    Unweighted Sample

    140

    432

    302

    320

     

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Strongly support

    29

    22

    17

    13

    Somewhat support

    33

    28

    31

    28

    TOTAL SUPPORT

    63

    49

    48

    41

    Neither support nor oppose

    16

    24

    28

    36

    Somewhat oppose

    7

    8

    10

    10

    Strongly oppose

    2

    5

    8

    8

    TOTAL OPPOSE

    8

    14

    18

    18

    Don't know

    13

    14

    6

    5

 

 

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