Active Travel Board meeting: 23 September 2021
Summary of the minutes of the meeting held on 23 September 2021.
A PDF download of this document will be available soon.
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Wales-wide programme for Active Travel school planning
The Board was given an overview of the plans for developing a Wales-wide programme for Active Travel School Planning (ATSP). This will enable schools to improve pupil health, wellbeing and personal safety, as well as reducing congestion, road dangers and localised air pollution on nearby highways. The recommendations include directing Sustrans to trial an ATSP approach.
The Board was advised of two areas which support this work:
- A commitment from education colleagues for active travel to be included in the curriculum and 21st Century School developments.
- The active travel to school toolkit, drafted by the Cross Party Group on Active Travel, which is due to be launched in mid-October.
The Board welcomed the plans and discussed how the proposals could continue to be progressed.
Programme of bike repair initiatives
The Board discussed key considerations in regards to the development of options for a programme to support bike repair initiatives. This work is at the start of development with a commitment from Welsh Government but no firm plans yet. There is a centrally managed scheme in England – Wales could adopt this approach, however there are also many grassroots level initiatives in Wales which it would be good to build on and support. There are also commercial areas which shouldn’t be adversely affected by any programme developed for Wales. There is a complementary Government Commitment to establish 80 reuse and repair hubs across Wales and it may be an option that this new programme links with these.
The Board shared their views on how this could be progressed and discussed several areas including potentially adopting the Big Bike Revival programme run by Cycling UK, determining the barriers to people cycling and how they can be supported to do so, implementing a mapping exercise of current provision and ensuring cargo-bike users are also able to access repairs.
Active Travel procurement: Sustrans
The Board was given a presentation on Sustrans’ proposal to develop an Active Travel procurement framework. Sustrans identified issues with current practices and a lack of specific provision for delivery of active travel support functions. It was recommended that training is provided to ensure procurement staff and active travel leads have the required skills and expertise, procurement processes are scalable and an Active Travel Framework is established.
The Board discussed the proposals and agreed the Welsh Government should, along with TfW, consider the most appropriate way forward.
Welsh Government update: 20mph default speed limit
The Board was given an overview of the move to a default 20mph speed limit across Wales. This was included in the Programme for Government and is due to come into force in 2023. There is a planned plenary session for Spring 2022 to vote on the required legislative change. A consultation, themed on strengthening communities and supporting active travel, has been held over summer and comes to an end in October.
The 20mph pilot schemes have begun, with data being gathered on attitudes, air quality and active travel patterns. The pilot schemes are also working with Living Streets to use their WOW tracker in primary schools to assist with data collection on travel to school. A national communication campaign is being developed which focuses on community benefits. Discussions with local authorities are continuing, to understand their requirements to changing default speed limits and the Deputy Minister is due to meet council leaders to reiterate the changes and requirements for local authorities.
The Board welcomed the update on progress and discussed a range of issues in relation to the implementation of 20mph speed limit, including local authority resources and how road environment improvements could aide with compliance to the reduced speed limit.
ATB sub group: Active Travel to schools
The sub-group met in August with the next meeting planned for end of October. Members have contributed to the toolkit developed by Chris Roberts and the Cross Party Group for Active Travel. A draft paper to Ministers is also being finalised. The Hands up survey is due to begin this year. The phased and tested approach, as recommended in the feasibility study, will be implemented with 2022 to 2023 seeing a structured national roll-out.
ATB sub group: behaviour change
The sub-group is working with the Burns Commission and Newport Public Service Board to hold a workshop in Newport in October.
ATB sub group: training
Construction Excellence Wales is continuing with active travel training and Sustrans are developing Active Travel route audit training with several local authorities. Work has started in collaboration with other transport colleagues on scoping the specification for training for active travel and other relevant practitioners.
ATB sub group: inclusive Active Travel
The sub-group plan to focus their next meeting on wider inclusivity in regards to active travel. Inclusive active travel is the proposed theme for a half day event to take the place of the usual Active Travel Conference. There are plans to link the sub-group to the Age-Friendly Steering Group, run by the Older Peoples Commissioners Office.