The devolved Welsh Government revealed its legislative agenda over the next five years yesterday and contained within it were plans to introduce a Cycling Bill that makes it a legal duty for Welsh local authorities to provide cycle routes.
The policy is one of the key elements of the Labour Party led administration though wiith 30 of the Welsh Assembly’s 60 seats, Labour does not have the majority required to pass legislation without opposition support.
Sustainable transport charity Sustrans welcomed the move to introduce a Cycling Bill. The Welsh unit of the charity, Sustrans Cymru, has been campaigning and lobbying Welsh political parties for the move for a number of years.
“There has long been a legal duty to build and maintain roads, but this is the first time that highways authorities will have had a legal obligation to create new walking and cycling routes. It has the potential to make Wales a World leader in sustainable transport,” said Lee Waters, a director at Sustrans Cymru.
Mr Waters said work would now begin on developing the detail of the proposed cycling bill. Sustrans would like to see the bill include the needs of walkers as well as cyclists, commit to routes both on and off-road, and place a duty on highway authorities to maintain the quality of routes.