Active Travel Bill launched

The Welsh Government's Active Travel Bill, which aims to make walking and cycling easier and safer, will be launched today.

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School children help launch new travel law

Children at Millbank Primary School in Ely helped to launch the new Bill Credit: ITV News Wales / Richard Morgan

School children from Millbank Primary School in Ely have helped to launch a new law that aims to make walking and cycling in Wales safer.

The Active Travel Bill puts a duty on local authorities to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians.

Sustrans: 'the most effective public health initiative since the smoking ban'

A charity that promotes walking, cycling and public transport says the new Active Travel Bill has the potential to be the "most effective public health initiative since the smoking ban."

Sustrans Cymru first suggested the new law in a petition to the Assembly six years ago.

It says that the networks of new routes created by the Bill will play a major role in persuading people out of their cars for shorter journeys but what is also needed are programs that will help people to take advantage of the routes.

The evidence shows that the easiest way for most people to get more exercise is to build it into their daily routine, but even though most everyday journeys are short, many of us still choose to take the car; in fact 20% of our car journeys are less than one mile.

The Active Travel Bill aims to get more people walking and cycling for short local trips as part of tackling the obesity epidemic and reducing congestion.

– Lee Waters, National Director of Sustrans Cymru

Active Travel Bill aims to make cycling and walking 'easier and safer'

It is hoped that more people can experience the health benefits of cycling and walking and greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced. Credit: JANE MINGAY/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Proposals are being launched today aimed at making walking and cycling "easier and safer".

The Welsh Government's Active Travel Bill will place a legal duty on councils to create a network of routes for walking and cycling, and will require them to continuously improve it.

The government says the plans are being introduced so that more people can experience the health benefits of cycling and walking and greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced.

It says that by encouraging more people to walk and cycle, congestion will be reduced and the number of days lost through sickness will go down.