Wales gives cyclists legal right to propose new bike routes
A law has been passed in Wales that obliges politicians to listen to anyone who asks for safe walking and cycling routes to be built in their area
Tuesday 6 September 2016 08.00 BST
To negotiate parts of the Cardiff Bay trail by bike on a sunny day is, if not an art, then at least a good test of spatial awareness. Among those on foot and two wheels are families with pushchairs, older people on bikes, kids running, and kids on go-karts and scooters. It’s a picture postcard of the pent-up demand for safe walking and cycling routes away from motor traffic.
While many of us know our towns and cities could look like this – more people-centric and less car-centric – in reality, a lack of political will and consistent funding often puts that out of reach. Here in Wales, a piece of legislation which places people friendly streets is within grasp – if people speak up and tell politicians what to do.
The Active Travel (Wales) Act requires Welsh councils to map their existing walking and cycling routes, and then set about improving and linking them up. The initial mapping stage now complete, people are being asked to say where they want new routes and, crucially, politicians will have a legal obligation to consult anyone who expresses an interest in shaping this process.