South West Wales

Call for spending on cycle paths in Wales to be doubled

Bicycle

Spending on cycle paths and footpaths in Wales should be doubled, according to a transport charity.

Sustrans has called for "active travel" to receive 4% of the transport budget to ensure the Active Travel Act, which became law last year, is successful.

It comes as Carmarthenshire Cycle Forum raised concerns about funding for cycle schemes on trunk roads.

The Welsh government said the act would consider how walking and cycling can be improved.

Sustrans said at least £10 per person needs to be spent on active travel projects, adding that if the act was to achieve its aims "there will need to be greater investment".

This would enable Wales to "achieve the levels of walking and cycling seen in many countries on the continent", it added.

Image caption Phil Snaith said a Freedom of Information request showed "some pretty startling figures" about funding for Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire Cycle Forum said the county was not getting its fair share of Welsh government money to develop cycle routes.

Phil Snaith, from the forum, said: "We have, in the last five years, only had 0.6% of the funding even though we are one of the largest counties with trunk roads and certainly the second largest in terms of mileage of trunk roads with big towns around those trunk roads."

In response, a Welsh government spokesman said: "The Active Travel Act will ensure that any future investment in highway infrastructure, by the Welsh government or local authorities, will need to consider how walking and cycling can be improved at the same time.

"We are funding a study on improving safety for cyclists on the A48 Cross Hands.

"Since 2008/9 Carmarthenshire council has received nearly £4m for safe walking and cycling schemes through our Safe Routes in Communities programme and earlier this year received £950,000 towards four walking and cycling schemes in the county."

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