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Deputy Minister update

It was confirmed that funding available for 2020 to 2021 grant schemes includes £30 million available through the Active Travel Fund, £5 million through Safe Routes in Communities and £4.95 million through Road Safety.

The Deputy Minister spoke of his intention to explore the introduction of a climate change fund which will specifically address decarbonisation through modal shift. This fund is likely to be limited to capital schemes, and will most likely be on a competitive basis, to stimulate innovative ideas.

N.B Following the meeting and in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Deputy Minister invited expressions of interest from local authorities to put in place measures to improve safety and conditions for walking and cycling with a view to allocate funding for measures that can be quickly implemented.

The 20mph task force has four work streams, covering different aspects and will be making their recommendations to Ministers in due course.

Update on grants

The Board was provided with an update on grants. The 2020 to 2021 applications for Road Safety are more positive and reflect a greater emphasis on active travel. The award of funding letters will be issued in due course.

Active Travel guidance

The Board discussed the Active Travel guidance and were invited to submit comments to the consultation. Training on the guidance will be available once the final version has been published.

It was suggested that young people should be consulted on the Active Travel guidance. There was also a discussion on how different school based programmes, such as EcoSchools, could align better with active travel.

Active Travel to School National Advisory Group (ATSNAG) update

The Board was given an update on the Hands Up Survey.

NB. Following the meeting PHW advised, that due to COVID-19, the roll out of the Survey had been postponed until September 2021.

National Standards Cycle Training

The Board discussed the provision of cycle training in Wales. It was highlighted that the training of instructors and also governance around how training is managed varies in Wales. Also, the Bikeability brand and management arrangements are not currently utilised in Wales. The Board agreed that Bikeability should be used as a model, with work progressed to provide clarity to instructors as quickly as possible.

All Wales Engagement Contract workshop

The Deputy Minister introduced the workshop discussion by emphasising the importance of good quality engagement with a wide range of the population, especially those who aren’t currently using active travel modes. This discussion will feed into work to procure a contract which will provide specialist engagement and consultation services for local authorities in Wales.  

The Board discussed what they consider to be the essential ingredients to be included in the contract.

Any other business

The Deputy Minister raised the possibility of the Active Travel Board having an independent chair. 

There was a discussion on providing an extension to the deadline for local authorities to submit the next version of the Integrated Network Map (INM) and Existing Routes Map (ERM). A delay in the development of the new GIS mapping service was provided as a major issue for local authorities to share their maps and seek online engagement. There was a concern raised that an extension would result is a loss of momentum.  

Post meeting note: The Deputy Minister has issued a Direction under the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 setting a revised date of 30 September 2021 for submission of INM and ERMs. As well as the GIS system and consultation contract interfaces, the decision reflects COVID-19 implications which inevitably will affect the public engagement local authorities are able to undertake.

Date of next meeting: 25 June 2020