Monmouthshire residents are being asked to lend their views to the final phase of a consultation which looks to improve the ways people in Monmouthshire get around in the future. The final phase of the Active Travel consultation will help in determining priorities for investment in the physical infrastructure of roads and paths suitable for cycling and walking as well as associated facilities. The Active Travel consultation is a requirement by Welsh Government under the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.
The first phase of the consultation, which launched in 2020, undertook substantial engagement with the community to identify routes and facilities to encourage greater levels of Active Travel in everyday lives. Now concluded, the consultation has successfully captured the responses of 2700 people and 370 routes have been identified for consideration. Over 500 comments on the strategic focus of Active Travel in Monmouthshire were also received. All suggestions have now been independently assessed to produce a revised final Active Travel Network Maps.
Residents can now view and give feedback on the final maps, which are hosted on the Welsh Government sponsored website Common Place: https://mccactivetravelconsultation.commonplace.is/. Due to the level of detail on the maps provided it is suggested accessing the site via a laptop, desktop or tablet for greater levels of interaction. This website is also the main website for engagement for those individuals aged 12 years and over, with specific sessions taking place for primary aged pupils.
To ensure good coverage of all groups in the community those that do not have access to a computer, alternative engagement methods of gathering responses are available, and can be viewed on https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/active-travel-consultation/
The council has been working hard over the last 12 months to increase the focus on Active Travel. The aim is to encourage those who can, to leave their cars at home when travelling to work, shops, schools, a place of leisure or to get to a train / bus station. Active Travel is not about merely walking and cycling for leisure but it could also significantly enhance leisure activities by helping link up existing path and road networks, and is an important contributor in addressing the current climate emergency – helping to reduce vehicle emissions. It also has the benefit of improving physical and mental wellbeing.
Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Social Development, Councillor Lisa Dymock said: “As we look to accelerate decarbonisation and focus on improving our natural environment, we must concentrate of finding more green and efficient ways to get around. We have learned a lot from the pandemic and previous lockdowns about how a reduction in the pollution caused by vehicles and other forms of transport really has a positive impact on our climate. The future of how we work and live also means we have more opportunities to make the most of active travel, whether that be using our cars less or cycling places. We are working hard to ensure we have the infrastructure and policies to support these aims and we need the people of Monmouthshire to help us shape these very important decisions. Please take the time to have a look at the suggested routes and lend your views to the consultation.”
Residents with any queries are asked to contact either Sue Hughes, Active Travel Officer or Paul Sullivan Youth, Sport and Active Travel Manager ActiveTravel@monmouthshire.gov.uk The consultation period ends 31st August 2021.