Blog - Benefits of Active Travel
The way we travel around can increase our individual carbon footprint. Choosing greener alternatives can reduce our CO2 levels, as well as have other benefits, as Torfaen Council’s new Active Travel officer Donna Edwards-John explains.
t’s been a busy year and I’m still reducing how much I use my car and continuing to walk for short journeys, such as going to the shops, visiting friends and family and for local work-based trips.
I have met residents through consultations, school visits, drop-in events and meeting with groups with interests in active travel and hearing their experiences of using routes in Torfaen.
Walking or cycling 10 miles a week saves around 500 pounds of CO2 emission a year.
Walking, cycling or scooting to school also helps children to feel ready for the school day. We have helped several schools in Torfaen produce Active Travel School Plans, which encourages walking and cycling to school replacing car journeys. The pupils have enjoyed learning about active travel and the benefits to their health and the environment. Children are very aware of climate change and the issues faced and want to make changes for a better future.
Using active travel methods instead of car journeys helps to reduce congestion and pollution at the school gates and is safer for children entering and leaving the site.
Of course, it’s important that people have access to well-appointed, safe walking and cycling routes when considering travelling actively.
By upgrading and creating new walking and cycling routes we aim to make active travel the normal way to get around for local journeys. This cuts down unnecessary traffic and helps families get about safely, improves air quality and increases the attractiveness of places to live and work.
It's also hoped new legislation to increase the number of 20mph roads in Wales from next year will also help to encourage more people to walk or cycle in their communities.
Every three years Welsh local authorities involve local people when updating our active travel network plans. Wales is unique in having legislation which requires councils to do this - The Active Travel (Wales) Act - sets out a clear ambition to put walking and cycling centre-stage for local journeys. Crucial to getting this right is for local people to be involved in the conversation about where facilities are needed, so that more people feel they can choose walking and cycling instead of the car for short local journeys.
After a lengthy consultation period last year, Torfaen Council has created the new Active Travel Network Map (ATNM) of new proposed future routes in the borough as part of its commitments under the Active Travel Act in Wales. The maps have been submitted to Welsh Government for approval and once approved will be published and available for public view.
Last Modified: 21/11/2022
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