by Leonie Jennings on June 15, 2011
Yesterday the Welsh Government made worldwide history by becoming the first Government to introduce a Cycling Bill to make it a legal duty for local authorities to provide cycle routes.
The Bill has been announced as one of the Welsh Government's priorities during the next five years, and is a result of four years of passionate campaigning by sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
Sustrans Cymru Director Lee Waters said "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.
"Hearing the Welsh Government commit to the Bill is an astounding achievement after years of hard work. Now we begin the important process of developing the detail."
A spokesperson for the Welsh Government said "Increasing access to cycling routes will make it easier for people to make healthier choices, improve people's health, ease pressure on the NHS in the long-term and have positive environmental benefits. In addition to the world-class mountain biking routes that Wales already boasts, it will also put Wales on the World map as a leading destination for cycling, which will bring the added benefits for tourism and business. "
"The forward legislative programme is being announced in July"
We'll be watching the progress of this Bill over the next five years with interest. Hopefully, this could pave the way for other countries to make a similar commitment to cycling.