Getting people out of cars and onto bikes is the aim of a £50m investment announced by Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters today (13th May). Quadrant Transport look at how the investment will help Wales meet their net zero targets.
In the Welsh Government’s Net Zero Wales Carbon Budget 2 (2021-25) document, it is outlined that transport has a significant role to play in helping Wales reach net zero and producing wider benefits across health, air quality, accessibility, and the economy.
Speaking on a visit to Cardiff-based cycling charity Pedal Power, the Deputy Minister said that the money would fund cycling routes and new facilities right across Wales.
Encouraging People To Walk Or Cycle Is A Challenge But Is Essential
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, said: “This is a substantial investment and part of our commitment to making cycling easier so people cut the number of journeys they take by car and travel in a way that is better for our planet.
“Getting people out of cars for short journeys and encouraging them to walk or cycle instead is a huge challenge for us, but one that has to be met if we are to reach our net zero carbon emission target by 2050.”
We need to make sure that we have the right infrastructure and routes in place so that people have the choice of cycling for their everyday journeys – we need to make the right thing to do, the easy thing to do.
Pilot Schemes Are Designed To Benefit Active Travel
One organisation that is benefiting from the investment is Pedal Power in South Wales. As part of a series of the Welsh Government e-bike pilot schemes, the cycling charity received £210,000 for its ‘See Cycling Differently’ project.
Due to the funding received, the charity has expanded its e-cycle fleet and is now encouraging its users to cycle more.
The Welsh Government’s e-bike pilot scheme is designed to explore affordable ways to improve people’s mobility, increase access to sustainable and healthy ways of travelling and encourage people to reduce their car use. Pilots are currently being run in locations across Wales, including Swansea, Rhyl, Aber, Newtown, Barry and Cardiff.
Since 2021, the Welsh Government has made more than £135m available to invest in schemes and programmes to benefit active travel across Wales.
Director of Pedal Power, Cardiff, Sian Donovan, said: “Cycling is a fantastic way for everyone – all ages and abilities – to have fun, gain more independence and enjoy a sense of freedom which we know has provided a lifeline to many during the pandemic.
We were delighted to receive funding from the Welsh Government to help us to continue to remove barriers to cycling so that it can be truly accessible and inclusive for all.
In addition to this, as part of the investment announced today, all local authorities will receive a minimum of £500k with additional allocations having been awarded based on the outcome of a competitive application process.