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Active Travel Network Maps (ATNM) process

The Board was given a brief overview on progress on the Active Travel Network Maps (ATNM). The first tranche of assessments is nearing completion. This is for the majority of local authorities who submitted their maps at the end of 2021.

The Chair outlined his intention to visit several local authorities to discuss their active travel plans and programmes. Where there are particular challenges, the Chair is keen to engage with those local authorities. It was stressed that there is progress to be made, but both the Active Travel Fund and discussions around the ATNM process reflect the seriousness given to these processes.

National Monitoring Framework

The Board was given a presentation on the progress with the development of a National Monitoring Framework for Active Travel. The Framework aims to provide a clear and consistent methodology for data collection that supports Welsh Government’s strategic aims and objectives, along with identifying qualitative and quantitative indicators to monitor progress. This work is ongoing.

The second part of the presentation focused on scheme level monitoring. A study was commissioned to identify recommended methodologies for data collection. Some authorities do not currently gather data consistently but have asked for advice on how to do so in future. A draft report is due to be submitted shortly and considerations will then be made on how best to support local authorities.

In relation to monitoring and evaluation of the Active Travel Fund (ATF), a survey is due to be sent out to ascertain local authority’s experiences of the support programme and how it can be improved for future years. Follow-up interviews will also be arranged.

The Board discussed a number of areas in how to support developing the framework further and also in relation to improving monitoring. 

Active Travel Board dashboard

The Board was given an opportunity to discuss the illustrative dashboard. Welsh Government have collated data from OpSnap and the National Survey for Wales to create initial graphs to show how the dashboard could look. Other visualisation options are also still being explored.

The Board discussed this information and how to improve future iterations of the dashboard.

Structures and capacity at local authority level

The Board discussed local authority structures and capacity with members highlighting the issues and concerns experienced across Wales. Suggestions were made for how to support local authorities and make improvements for future years.

Standing Item: 20mph update

The Board were provided an update on 20mph speed limits. The 8 first phase settlements are now live and data is being gathered on speed but also, in some areas, air quality, pedestrian interaction and children walking and cycling to school.

A comprehensive survey is being compiled, for a majority of local authorities, of all roads to identify the speed limit signs and other information which will help prepare any traffic regulation orders for those which will remain 30mph. Plans are being progressed to publish the exceptions maps on Data Map Wales (DMW) so the public can view which roads will remain 30mph and which will become 20mph.

The Board discussed unintended consequences of the 20mph rollout, such as for cycle races, and the importance of effective communications to counter any misinformation.

Progress from the ATB Sub-Groups

Active Travel to Schools

  • National test in the rollout of the Hands Up Survey was completed. The aim is to learn how to improve communication and rollout in future. Discussions with schools are also underway to determine the best timeframe for carrying out the survey across Wales.
  • The governance of the group is due to change with the introduction of a national strategic active school travel group. Plans for this new group, including membership, are being finalised. The aim is for this strategic group to be supported by a larger network of stakeholders, many of whom are current members of the Active School Travel National Advisory Group.

Inclusive active travel

  • A paper from the sub-group was circulated to board members. This included a suggestion for the Active Travel Board to write to new local authority Leaders to set out the vision for inclusive active travel and commitments expected within that.

There was a brief discussion on whether there should be a particular focus on some protected characteristics instead of trying to address all nine.  

Date of the next meeting: 29 September 2022