Residents can now have their say on the current walking and cycling routes in Rhondda Cynon Taf, as well as their aspirations for future improvements, by taking part in the Council’s latest Active Travel consultation.
In October 2020, Cabinet agreed for the Council to undertake a further extensive public engagement exercise into its future Active Travel plans – as Members acknowledged the economic, health and environmental benefits of residents walking and cycling more often, as part of their daily routines.
The consultation will help the Council update its Integrated Network Map, which sets out the aspirations for investment in Active Travel over the next 15 years – for submission to Welsh Government during December 2021.
By using an interactive map, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is one of the local authorities working with Welsh Government to make it easier for people to tell their council where existing routes need to be improved, and where new routes could be created.
Residents can now take part in the consultation exercise online, hosted by Commonplace at https://rhonddacynontaf.commonplace.is/.
It includes an interactive map which invites residents to share opinions about local walking and cycling paths in communities, and to let the Council know how they would like to see improvements made or new provision created. Participants are able to use a ‘pin’ on the consultation tool to highlight on a map the precise locations that their comments are referring to.
This consultation exercise will close on Friday, February 12, 2021.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “The Council fully-supports Welsh Government’s initative to encourage people to walk and cycle more often – not just for leisure but, importantly, as a part of their everyday routines too. Active Travel has many advantages as an alternative to driving in order to access employment, education or shopping – ranging from health and well-being benefits to improving the environment.
“The Council’s first Integrated Network Map was submitted to Welsh Government in 2017, acting as a blueprint for our plans and aspirations for Active Travel over a 15-year period. The Map was informed by consulting residents and businesses, along with other local groups and organisations. More than three years have now passed since that exercise, and Welsh Government is again working with councils to review and update their plans.
“Rhondda Cynon Taf is one of several local authorities currently running a similar exercise, which is now live online. I’d urge interested residents to have their say to help inform our plans for future investment in walking and cycling provision. This is an important task to obtain the views of residents, whose local knowledge will be a key consideration in our activity going forward.”
Speaking about the consultation across Wales, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters, said: “We want to tackle the many barriers that people face when considering whether to make their everyday journeys by walking and cycling. We have greatly stepped up investment in walking and cycling improvements over the last few years to ensure we have high quality infrastructure, and will continue to do so. But this investment will only lead to people choosing to travel differently if it really meets their needs.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in people walking and cycling as their chosen method to get around, whether to get to school, work when they can’t work from home, the shops or for exercise and those shorter journeys where it isn’t necessary to use private cars. We want to capture people’s local knowledge while it is still fresh in their minds. Where did their active travel journeys became difficult? Were there areas where they felt unsafe? Are there any places where they couldn’t continue their journeys? Are there journeys they’d like to walk and cycle but don’t feel safe doing so?”
Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies, Chair of the Active Travel Board, added: “We want to see people in Wales choosing to walk or cycle for shorter journeys. This is a great opportunity for people to tell us what is stopping them from travelling actively at the moment and suggesting improvements and new routes to their local Councils.
“I am committed to ensuring that the significant investment that Welsh Government is making in Active Travel is based on the needs of local communities. This website will form an important part of improving the provision of active travel which will benefit the environment, health and the economy for all. I know of the enthusiasm within local areas for further developments and look forward to all Councils engaging with the website and further developing ambitious plans during the next 12 months.”
Posted on Thursday 7th January 2021