The Welsh government is still in the process of trying to get its Active Travel Bill passed. This bill has taken a step in the right direction because the National Assembly is going to vote on this bill today (Tuesday). Before this bill passes, a lot of people want to know what this Active Travel Bill will mean for them.
In short, this new bill is going to help the nation’s foot and cycle paths. The goal of the bill is to help encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles. This does not just mean healthier lifestyles because it encourages people to get out and stay active but healthier lifestyles by getting people to keep their carbon footprint down. If people are willing to use their bikes or walk to their destinations, they can leave their cars at home.
Although this bill seems like a good idea on paper, some government officials say that it will not really do anyone any good. Jeff Jones, the former leader of the Bridgend County Borough Council, said that this bill is really just gesture-based. It makes people believe the government is trying to do good. In truth, this bill is not backed by enough money to make any real difference at all. However, it does give the government something to point at to say that at least they tried.
Other people believe it is a good idea. Jane Lorimer, the national director for Sustrans Cymru, said that this bill is just the start. The government has to start somewhere; things do not just change overnight. This bill will be the start of a system that can be put in place to help give people an alternative to driving their own cars. It could lead to cheaper public transportation and help lower carbon emissions.
According to the Welsh government, this Active Travel Bill will help to encourage lots of people to use alternative forms of transport besides their cars. However, there are still some real concerns that this bill does not have enough funding to really be of any use. This is because the bill only has about £12 million backing it up. This is hardly going to be enough to add more walking and cycling lanes across the country.
John Griffiths, the culture and sports minister, believes that the bill does have enough money behind it. He said that £12 million is actually a considerable amount of money. Not only that, it is important to remember that the government is not starting from scratch here. There is already a public transportation system in place. This money is going to be used to improve that. Wales already has some really good cycling routes that people enjoy. The idea now is to extend these routes. The Welsh government is looking to build on what it already has. It simply wants to use this money to help encourage people to walk and cycle more and use their cars less.