Wrexham Council is to enjoy half a million pounds to spend on its roads and cycle schemes as part of a Welsh Government grant to make it easier to get to key employment hubs.
£259,000 will be spent specifically on walking and cycling routes leading to Wrexham and Vauxhall Industrial estates among other locations.
In addition £158,000 has also been awarded for road safety improvements at various accident blackspots including the junction of the A525/B5430 in Bwlchgwyn and the A5152 link from Rhostyllen through to Wrexham Town Centre.
Councillor David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport told Wrexham.com: “I am delighted that despite the financial pressures Local Authorities are under, we are able to secure additional funding from the Welsh Government to improve the safety of our road network and provide improved opportunities for sustainable and affordable access to key employment sites.”
There is a further £56,000 available in the form of a Safe Routes in the Communities grant to make the Plas Madoc Estate a safer environment for young people to walk and cycle to the nearby primary school.
In 2013 we reported how the Welsh Government launched the Active Travel (Wales) Bill which sustainable transport charity Sustrans described as a “world first” and said could be the single most important step taken to improve public health in the country since the introduction of the smoking ban in April 2007.
Sustrans Cymru has led the six-year campaign that has led to the Active Travel Bill, which will place an obligation on local authorities throughout Wales to incorporate develop and maintain an integrated network of cycling and walking routes.
According to the Welsh Government, the key features of the Bill are that it will require l;ocal authorities in Wales to:
- identify and map the network of routes within their areas that are safe and appropriate for walking and cycling
- identify and map the enhancements that would be required to create a fully integrated network for walking and cycling and develop a prioritised list of schemes to deliver the network
- deliver an enhanced network subject to budget availability and following due process
- consider the potential for enhancing walking and cycling provision in the development of new road schemes.
Minister for Transport carl Sargeant said: “I have been very impressed with the pupils of Millbank school today and the skills they have learnt from the Bike It scheme.
"It’s clear that they have developed a love of cycling thanks to the project and ensuring that this spreads across the whole of Wales and amongst people of all ages is a vital component of the Active Travel Bill."
“The Bill aims to make it easier and safer for more people to walk and cycle and to make it possible for more children to cycle to school every day.
"We want to make walking and cycling the most natural and normal way of getting about and to ensure that active travel is a viable mode of transport shorter journeys.
"This will help make Wales a healthier and greener nation."