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Healthy Travel Charter

The Board was given a presentation on the Healthy Travel Charter which highlighted a public movement for change due to environmental issues and also the experience of Covid. This work encompasses more than just active travel, with the intention of first looking at how to avoid journeys, then focusing on active travel, followed by using public transport and lastly using private car.

The Healthy Travel Charter includes 15 commitments over 3 years which support active travel, public transport, agile and remote working and ultra-low emission vehicle use and are signed up to by organisations. The charters are locally led in order to reflect the local area and there is a clear focus on communication and leadership in order to deliver change.

The private sector charters have similar commitments but are adaptable for different size businesses. Resources are available to support the charters, including a bilingual website, toolkits, monitoring progress and an interactive map of showering and storage facilities. Wider roll-out of the Charter has been agreed, along with introducing more ambitious commitments such as discouraging car use.

Following the presentation there was a discussion on how the Healthy Travel Charter could tie in with Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) 10 point action plan. The Board also discussed the issue of conflicting priorities in regards to new developments and the Wales TUC and their Green Recovery initiative.

Transport for quality of life: Active Travel and decarbonisation

The Board was given an overview of the work Transport for Quality of Life is doing on decarbonisation for the Welsh Government. This work has focused on car travel, as this is the biggest source of surface transport emissions, and has covered how reducing overall travel, modal shift and increase use of electric vehicles would impact on carbon emissions.

In assessing the potential carbon savings from active travel there are two approaches:

  1. Costed ‘bottom up’ assessment which evaluated an annual spend per head of £26 initially, increasing to £46 from 2025.
  2. ‘Top-down’ assessment which looked at what proportion of car trips could potentially switch to active travel if Wales had Dutch-quality cycle facilities / cycling culture and widespread use of e-bikes.

The modelling shows that in order to meet current targets, demand reduction (modal shift and less travel) will be essential. The increase use of electric car won’t be the answer to reducing carbon emissions. Extra reductions from modal shift and remote working will help but there is a need to explore what additional actions can be implemented.

Following the presentation the Board discussed several areas including the benefits of regional working and how to communicate effectively, with the public, that electric car use alone will not be enough to reduce emissions.

Active Travel: the next 5 years

The Board was reminded of the targets for Active Travel discussed at the March board. These targets have now been reviewed as part of the broader Welsh Transport Strategy and are accepted as a framework for action. The Board split into breakout groups to discuss the opportunities and challenges for active travel in Wales. These discussions will then feed into proposed priorities for the next 5 years.

ATB sub groups: Active Travel to school

The next meeting is due to take place in July. The first draft of the sub-groups’ report has been completed and is being reviewed before being shared with the Board.

ATB sub groups: behaviour change

The sub-group are planning a trip to Newport, as soon as possible, to view the active travel measures introduced in the area, with the aim to create a case study.

ATB sub groups: training

The sub-group are focusing on providing training to professional colleagues to help them determine how active travel could be part of their roles.

ATB sub groups: inclusive active travel

There is the intention to convene a meeting, with relevant and interested stakeholders, on inclusivity in regards to active travel. A discussion on how to ensure minority ethnic groups are represented will also be included in this meeting. 


Date of the next meeting 23 September 2021