The Active Travel (Wales) Act aims to make active travel the most attractive option for shorter journeys. Enabling more people to undertake active travel will mean more people can enjoy the health benefits of active travel, help reduce greenhouse emissions, tackle poverty and disadvantage and help our economy to grow.

The Act requires local authorities in Wales to produce active travel maps and deliver year on year improvements in active travel routes and facilities. It requires highways authorities in Wales to make enhancements to routes and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists in all new road schemes and to have regard to the needs of walkers and cyclists in a range of other highway authority functions. It also requires the Welsh Ministers and local authorities to promote active travel journeys in exercising their functions under this Act.

Active Travel Existing Routes Maps

Across six areas (Abergavenny, Chepstow, Gilwern, Monmouth, Caldicot-Magor and Usk) the Existing Routes Maps show key walking and cycling routes that are deemed relevant for everyday journeys (journeys to work, school, to access shops or services, etc. i.e. not purely recreational) and that have been audited and found complying with the standards set out in the Welsh Government’s Active Travel Act Design Guidance.

Monmouthshire County Council undertook a public consultation on its draft Existing Route Maps in autumn 2015. A substantial number of responses were received. MCC then submitted its first set of Existing Route Maps to Welsh Government in January 2016. Welsh Government responded in April directing MCC to delete a number of routes that were not approved, and MCC resubmitted amended maps in June 2016.

An initial consultation report and the maps submitted to Welsh Government can be found below. MCC will be required to review it its Existing Routes Maps as part of the Integrated Network Map work. MCC also made use of the consultation responses in its Active Travel Quick Wins bid.

Future Networks – Integrated Network Maps

Monmouthshire County Council has to submit its first set of Integrated Network Maps to Welsh Government by 24 September 2017.

The Integrated Network Maps will set out the council’s plans for improving active travel routes over the following 15 years. The maps will show proposed future networks of key walking routes and key cycling routes. They will show where the proposed routes fall short of the Design Guidance standard, and will include ‘shovel ready’ schemes for delivery in the next couple of years, schemes for delivery in the medium term, and longer-term proposals of a more aspirational nature.

The development of the draft maps will take account of the responses to the ERM consultation. The draft Integrated Network Maps will be subject to a formal, three-month consultation period. MCC also seeks to engage stakeholders in the design of the draft maps prior to the formal consultation – please email activetravel@monmouthshire.gov.uk if you wish to be involved. The following process is recommended by Welsh Government:

  • Gather information – May-Sep 2016
  • Journey mapping – Oct-Nov 2016
  • Route Assessment – Dec-Jan 2017
  • Draft INM and scheme identification – Feb-Mar 2017
  • Validation(incl. consultation) – July-Aug 2017
  • Final plan and prioritisation – Apr-June 2017

Active Travel Local Transport Fund Schemes

Local authorities have the opportunity to bid to Welsh Government for Local Transport Fund grant funding for small/medium transport capital improvements. In 2016/17 Monmouthshire County Council has been successful with two active travel related bids.

Firstly MCC was awarded £145,000 to develop a walking & cycling bridge across the Usk between Abergavenny and Llanfoist. A public consultation will be held over the summer, and should the result be positive it is anticipated that MCC will bid for funding to construct the bridge in 2017/18.

Secondly MCC was awarded £299,625 for Active Travel Quick Wins. This consists of a list of 53 small projects that have been suggested through the Existing Route Maps consultation, the Local Transport Plan consultation undertaken in autumn 2014 or have previously been proposed to MCC by stakeholder.

Further information

If you have any other comments on implementing the Active Travel Act in Monmouthshire, please email to activetravel@monmouthshire.gov.uk or write to Christian Schmidt, Passenger Transport Unit, Monmouthshire County Council, PO Box 106, Caldicot, NP26 9AN.

Links