Cabinet has agreed to an extensive public engagement exercise into its future Active Travel plans – as part of a review into the Council’s Integrated Network Map for submission to Welsh Government. This was initially due by September 2021, but has now been extended to the end of December 2021.
At the virtual meeting on Tuesday, October 13, Cabinet Members considered an Officer report noting the economic, health and environmental benefits of Active Travel, adding that increased investment is being made available to fund new provision and improve existing community walking/cycling routes.
The Council submitted its first Integrated Network Map to Welsh Government in November 2017, setting out local Active Travel aspirations for the next 15 years. It was informed by consultation with residents, businesses, community groups and organisations – and is available to view on the Council’s website.
With three years passed since its publication, Welsh Government has now instructed councils to update their Integrated Network Maps – informed by extensive public engagement. The focus will be placed on developing Active Travel infrastructure as a practical and convenient alternative to travelling by car, for everyday journeys such as travelling to work, college or shopping.
On Tuesday, Cabinet agreed for the Council to hold a 12-week consultation process with a number of key factors – including a questionnaire, contact with key stakeholders, public engagement events (whether online or face-to-face, depending on the latest COVID-19 guidance) and awareness-raising content.
Members also agreed to Officers undertaking other key tasks to prepare for submission of the updated Integrated Network Map in December 2021 – including amending the existing Map to include new routes, correcting errors and omissions, and undertaking an audit exercise of the upgraded routes.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “The Council is fully-committed to improving its Active Travel provision in communities across the County Borough. We aim to encourage more people to walk and cycle – not just for leisure purposes but also as part of their daily routines – to maximise the widespread benefits, which include health and wellbeing, fewer vehicles on the road and helping protect the environment.
“On Tuesday, Cabinet Members agreed for the Council to undertake several tasks in preparation to submit an updated version of our Integrated Network Map to Welsh Government next year, alongside all other Local Authorities in Wales. A key component of this will be public engagement and consultation, to help gauge people’s views on the local routes in their communities.
“I would urge members of the public to take part in the upcoming consultation, and the Council will publicise details on the various ways that local residents can participate, along with key dates, in due course. As with consultation exercises right across the Council, the process is likely to be digitally-led due to current social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions – however, important provision for those with no or limited access to the internet will be provided.”
Posted on Wednesday 14th October 2020