The Active Travel Act (Wales) 2013 was given Royal Assent in November 2013. It places a duty on local authorities to plan for and continuously improve facilities for walkers and cyclists to promote active forms of travel.
The Act is all about getting people to commute and do their short journeys on foot or on a bicycle, but if tourist routes end up being improved in the process, so be it. As long as councils can prove a modal shift away from the car is happening in their area, Ministers will be happy.
As a cyclist it is easy to get a little impatient about the apparent lack of activity going on surrounding the Act, but we’re still very early on in the process. The first part is to assess the current routes and, that’s exactly what we are doing here.
There are two maps being produced, one showing what routes exist now and one a plan for the future. Councils are currently beginning to publish the first of these maps – and they need your input. Are the routes mapped accurate? Do you think they meet standards? Have routes been missed?
Whilst at the time of writing neither Cardiff nor the Vale have published their maps and assessments at the above link, Caerphilly and Newport has. You may well be commuting by bike from either of these counties, so it is worth giving them the once over. If you spot any routes on there that are not up to scratch, let them know.
The deadline for map submissions from each local authority is (if I’m not mistaken) the end of September 2015, so we should have something to look at from Cardiff Council shortly.