Wales politics

'Lack of funds and leadership' in active travel law

Cyclists

A law encouraging people to cycle or walk is failing to achieve its potential due to a lack of funding and promotion, AMs have said.

The 2013 Active Travel Act said local councils had to provide routes and consider cyclists and walkers when planning new road and rail links.

But the only new money available was £300,000 for maps, the enterprise and business committee found.

The Welsh government said it would set out its active travel plans shortly.

Chairman William Graham said the committee "applauds the ambition" of the act but found "considerable frustration" among its supporters.

He called for targets and greater promotion as the "key to bringing about culture change".

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"The Active Travel Act will only succeed if the Welsh government has the confidence to see through what it has started with its own legislation," Mr Graham said.

"The committee is concerned that, on the evidence of the first year and a half, the Government's commitment has started to waver before it has properly begun."

Plaid Cymru transport spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth said it was "another example of the Labour government failing to deliver on its commitments".

"A year ago I challenged the minister after Plaid Cymru exposed figures that showed that the Labour government's spending on active travel had reduced after passing this Act," he said.

"Now, we know that this has slipped back even further, despite protestations."

A Welsh government spokeswoman said its Active Travel Plan for Wales would set out short, medium and long-term actions to increase walking and cycling.

"We already provide over £14m a year for active travel infrastructure," she added.

"We believe it is important that these funding sources are diverse and that consideration for active travel becomes a routine part of building and improvement projects - not an add-on with extra costs.

"We are also committed to raising public awareness of this important act through a range of communication methods, including holding active travel events with various groups."

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