Active travel schemes announced earlier this week will receive a funding boost of more than £53 million this year as part of further efforts to encourage healthy travel in Wales – with more than £20 million to follow.
The dedicated budget for active travel has risen from £5 million since the start of this Welsh Government term, which Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters has described as evidence of the Welsh Government’s commitment to delivering the vision in its new transport strategy.
‘Llwybr Newydd’ was recently published and pledges an increase in the number of people using public transport, walking and cycling. 44 larger schemes and packages of schemes in local authorities will be funded through the first tranche of the Active Travel Fund this year, worth £47 million. Included in this sum is also a £14 million ‘core allocation’ shared among all local authorities. A further £20 million will be allocated later in the year to support more schemes.
In addition, pupils will be helped to get to school through the Safe Routes in Communities grant – now worth £6.4 million. This will support 21 schemes across Wales and has a focus on creating safe walking and cycling routes around schools. The investment in active travel forms part of funding package worth more than £210 million to support the new transport strategy.
“Over the past five years, we’ve been able to dramatically increase the amount we spend on active travel, and this shows our commitment to taking forward the vision we outlined in our new transport strategy,” said Waters. “Before the establishment of the dedicated Active Travel Fund, active travel projects not focused on schools had to compete for general local transport grant funding, without a set budget. The Active Travel Fund has grown since 2018 from its initial £10 million to £70 million for 2021/22.
“Continuing our funding to create safe routes to schools is particularly important as we know that embedding healthy travel habits early leads to lasting benefits. Our investment will lead to better connected towns and cities and contributes to efforts to tackle the climate emergency, cut congestion, improve public health and clean up our air quality.”
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