The Enterprise and Business Committee of the National Assembly for Wales have been looking into the progress and delivery of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.
We welcome this report. We are particularly pleased that, having put in place the world leading Active Travel Act, Assembly Members are continuing to take a close interest in the delivery of active travel and see it as a priority for government and for Wales.
It is important that Wales follows up on the Active Travel Act by putting in place achievable plans for making it a reality.
Some of Wales' most pressing problems, for example the pressure on our health service and the need to address climate change, can be alleviated by people being encouraged and enabled to make their everyday journeys in a healthier, greener way.
As the report says, delivering the Act goes beyond transport and it is essential that education, health, and in particular planning, all play an active part in the process.
Local authorities will shortly be starting work on the key provision of the Act, which is to draw up plans for comprehensive networks of walking and cycling routes in designated areas.
These plans will offer major opportunities to improve access to local amenities and we will need the whole community to be involved to shape how people want their local area to improve. We will share updates as opportunities to feed into the plans arise.
We welcome the Committee’s acknowledgement that to create change an increased investment in active travel is needed. Even moderate increases in spending will create better connected and healthier community spaces which will pay dividends in the long term.
Given sufficient resources the Act has the potential to help build healthier, greener, more liveable communities. Wales must grasp the opportunity the Active Travel Act offers.