Something to read: Revised Active Travel Act guidance

Good news everyone, a revised version of the Active Travel Act guidance has been published.

Weighing in at 476 pages; a whole 42 MegaBytes of guidance includes best practice on infrastructure design and gives guidance on how to provide related facilities such as cycle parking.

This revised guidance provides the mandate to act on this imperative to deliver high quality active travel networks and schemes that maximise the benefit of the investment. Building on the draft guidance published for consultation in 2020, it brings together the previous two sets of statutory guidance and updates them, drawing on a wide range of sources, most notably user experiences, public and stakeholder consultation feedback, policy changes, new infrastructure and technology developments.

Active Travel Act Guidance July 2021

In terms of status, paragraph 7.7.2 states that the document is published by the Welsh Government for use throughout Wales and the contents must be considered when designing and maintaining active travel routes and related facilities, enhancing provision for walkers and cyclists as part of other highway schemes (including planned highway maintenance works), or when considering the needs of walkers and cyclists as part of new developments, traffic management and road safety schemes.

Interestingly, the document acknowledges that highways authorities have not always carried out transport projects in a way that would be compatible with the aims of the 2013 Act (the Active Travel Act) and that some newly built highways and “improvement” schemes have failed to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists –in some cases have made things worse. Paragraph 7.3.7 states:

When maintaining, improving or creating new highways, authorities shall treat walking and cycling with at least the same importance and consideration as motorised transport.

It’ll be interesting to see how councils react to that. However, if you have the time, it’s worth having a skim through the document for any interesting finds. I am working my way through it, albeit slowly.

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