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  1. ITV Report

Welsh Government law to encourage walking and cycling to work makes 'limited progress'

Credit: PA

The number of people walking or cycling to work in Wales has fallen despite a Welsh Government act to encourage it, according to an Assembly Committee.

The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee criticised progress on the Active Travel Act which is aimed at encouraging people to cycle and walk more. It blamed the poor outcomes on a lack of funding and a lack of leadership.

The committee called on the Welsh Government to be clearer with councils on how they expect the act to be put into action.

Despite a recent announcement that £60m will be spent on Active Travel over the next three years, the committee also urged the Welsh Government to spend more.

Chair of the committee, Russell George AM said limited progress had been made.

The Active Travel Act sought to transform the way people in Wales travel over short distances by facilitating better ways of cycling and walking over using the car. However, static and falling numbers of people cycling and walking in Wales shows that limited progress has been made.

The ambition of the Act was never going to be delivered in a few years, but it certainly cannot be realised through the actions and goodwill of a few dedicated cycling officers. That's why the Committee is calling on the Welsh Government to learn lessons on progress to date, provide better leadership and much higher levels of funding to ensure that the original ambitions of the Act are realised.

– Russell George AM

The Welsh Government said it will consider the committee's recommendations.

We thank the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee for its report. We will now take time to consider fully the recommendations and respond in due course.

Our Active Travel Act is the first of its kind in the world and we are proud of what has been achieved in such a short time with our strategic partners. At our fifth annual Active Travel Conference last week, Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates urged local authorities to refine, improve and realise their plans for walking and cycling networks. We are accelerating delivery and over the next three years expect to earmark over £90million on active travel infrastructure improvements and projects across Wales.

– Welsh Government Spokesperson