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Active travel plans move up a gear

15 June 2017

Plans to improve the network of walking and cycle routes across Bridgend County Borough are set to move up a gear this summer.

The Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 places a statutory duty on all local authorities in Wales to come up with a 15-year vision for an active travel network so that local residents are able to rely less on their cars for short everyday journeys, such as travelling to work or school, and to access shops or services.

After carrying out an initial public consultation in 2015 to find out which routes people were using, Bridgend County Borough Council has now launched a new 12-week public consultation to invite views on the routes people would like to see built.

Among the new active travel routes being proposed are links between Bridgend town centre and the Bridgend Designer Outlet, Broadlands to Bryntirion Comprehensive School, Newton to Porthcawl town centre, and Garth to Maesteg Comprehensive School.

These shorter, urban routes are being focused on in the first instance due to the greater potential number of people who would make use of them, but other longer-term schemes have also been earmarked including Pyle to Porthcawl, Maesteg to Tondu, and Bridgend to Porthcawl.

Research from sustainable transport charity Sustrans has found that there is huge potential for change in Wales, with more than one-in-five car journeys being made under two miles in length – a distance that can be easily walked or cycled.

Councillor Richard Young, the council’s Cabinet member for Communities, said: “Excellent strides have been made in recent years in promoting active travel, making it a much more practical option for local residents to leave their cars at home and choose an active, healthier form of transport for shorter journeys.

“Some of the most recent work has included a new shared route for pedestrians and cyclists along the A473 between Coychurch and Pencoed, an extension of the National Cycle Network Route 885 between Tondu and Bridgend so that it now runs all the way up to Bridgend Bus Station, and a scheme that has made Porthcawl seafront more bike-friendly.

“Improvements to our active travel infrastructure are being made year on year, and the next 15-years will see even more progress with it also becoming easier for walkers and cyclists to see what is available across the entire country.

“The next phase for us is to submit maps of the future routes and required improvements for Ministerial approval by 3 November 2017 and I would like to invite as many local people as possible to contribute to the development of the county borough’s active travel network by having their say in our public consultation.”

The provisions of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 only apply to certain areas designated by the Welsh Government where it is believed that there is potential for active travel and where there are over 2,000 residents. Within Bridgend County Borough, there are nine such areas, which are Betws, Bridgend, Gilfach Goch, Maesteg, Ogmore Vale, Pencoed, Pontycymer, Porthcawl and Pyle.

To find out how you can have your say, please visit www.bridgend.gov.uk/consultation.

Last Updated: 15/06/2017
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