It's Refugee Week, and this year our team in Wales has joined Oasis Cardiff’s Kabul to Cardiff challenge. The event sees participants travelling 4,821 miles by bike. And it aims to show solidarity with the refugees and asylum seekers that make the journey to reach the UK safely.
A quarter of the population in Wales do not drive or have access to a car.
Oasis Cardiff help refugees and asylum seekers integrate within their local community in Cardiff.
They also offer free cycle maintenance service for their clients.
Cycling is one of the main forms of transport for Oasis’ clients as they are affordable and accessible.
The service is hugely popular and essential for many clients.
As well as maintenance, Oasis also have a selection of donated cycles that are offered to new arrivals who are in need.
The Sustrans Cymru team helped clock up some miles for the challenge
In 2020, 31,752 people made journeys from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Eritrea and Albania and made asylum applications in the UK.
Arriving in the UK is only the start of a new kind of journey, one of building a new life.
Being able to get around, whether this is to access shops, healthcare or social activities, is crucial.
At Sustrans, we make it easier for people to walk and cycle.
This includes people who do not drive or do not have access to a car in the first place. In Wales, this is a quarter of the population.
Building an inclusive society
We firmly believe that not having a car should not affect your ability to be included in society and that walking and cycling has a huge part to play in this.
A safe, strong biking and walking community produces significant social gains:
- reducing health disparities
- significantly lowering household transportation expenses
- creating jobs
- and providing access to employment.
It also plays a vital role in lowering air and noise pollution and reducing mental health problems.
Representation in transport planning
The right to mobility is a fundamental freedom.
Many groups including women, disabled people, people from ethnic minorities, and those at risk of deprivation are not represented in transport or spatial planning.
We know that we need to do more to ensure that our work prioritises people from disadvantaged, marginalised or oppressed communities.
There is a huge role for walking and cycling to help reduce social inequity across Wales.
By making walking and cycling accessible for all, we will be a step closer to building a fair and resilient Wales, for everyone.