All too often, cycling and walking routes are piecemeal and don’t join up. How often have you seen cycle lanes (themselves poorly painted onto roads) end suddenly at junctions or simply just disappear? It’s no wonder that many people don’t wish to cycle when only a fraction of their journey currently provides any safe spaces for them to do so.
Your opportunity to input
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?
A legal duty on councils in Wales
In 2013, the Welsh Assembly passed world-first legislation in the Active Travel (Wales) Act, for the first time placing a legal duty on councils across Wales to map out active travel routes in their communities and then start filling in the gaps, by first producing a plan for a comprehensive network.
Quality standards addressed
To address the issue of quality, the Welsh Government has published new design guidance (pdf) for routes (drawn up by technical experts from public, private and voluntary organisations). All routes mapped must meet these high standards, or there must be an explanation as to why not. An example may be a canal tow path that is only 2 metres wide (not the recommended 3 metres), but in all other regards is a perfectly suitable part of a useful active travel route.
We’ll keep you informed
Following the approval of these maps in early 2016, councils will move on to their future plans. We’ll keep you updated on how you can get involved.