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Welsh Lib Dems steer Active Travel Bill in right direction

2013 Medi 23 9:58 AM

Welsh Liberal Democrat transport spokeswoman, Eluned Parrott AM, has welcomed progress on the Active Travel (Wales) Bill after the Minister adopts a key Lib Dem priority on a duty to promote active travel.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been calling for stronger measures on education and promotion and submitted amendments at stage 2 to ensure local authorities take steps to promote active travel. As the Active Travel Bill heads towards the end of the legislative process, the Welsh Government has brought forward amendments on the Bill, which will require local authorities and Welsh Minsters to exercise their functions under the Active Travel Act in 'a manner designed to promote active travel journeys'.

Commenting, Eluned Parrott AM:

"The Active Travel Bill offers great potential to steer us towards a healthier and more environmentally friendly Wales, to encourage people to get out of their cars and travel in more sustainable ways.

"Despite this, it was clear from the start that without a duty to promote active travel and teach people how to use routes safely, you would not achieve this culture change. It is simply not enough to hope that if you build the routes then people will come.

"Throughout this Bill I have been pushing for further measures on promotion and education and I am pleased that the Minister has finally recognised the importance of this. We need to improve the availability of information and ensure that people know how to safely use active travel as a means of transport, so that they are encouraged to make this modal shift, which is the central aim of this legislation.

"The key now is to ensure that we monitor the number of people using active travel routes as a means of transport, to make sure that this culture change is happening across Wales. Only then can we measure the success of this legislation and identify ways to make it even easier to use walking and cycling routes in the future."