Published: 24th JUNE 2021

Sustrans Cymru helps cycle from Kabul to Cardiff for Refugee Week

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.

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It was great to support a local initiative who do fantastic work in connecting people with their local community. We know that in the case of refugees and asylum seekers, having access to a cycle can be life changing. It brings freedom to explore their community, helps mental health and wellbeing, and provides independence to travel for work or pleasure. Oasis do truly fantastic work and we were thrilled to be a part of the challenge. Blockquote quotation marks
Peter Taylor, Sustrans Cymru Project Officer

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.


Find out how to get involved with Oasis Cardiff.


Take a look at our blog where we discuss what needs to be done to ensure equity, inclusion and social justice truly exist in walking and cycling.

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