Agenda item

Active Travel



-       Joanne Gossage (Service Manager- Environment & Leisure)

-       Leah Young (Active travel Projects Officer)

-       Luke Stacey – Access Development and Public Rights of Way Officer

-       Paul Jones – Head of City Services



The Service Manager and Team members gave the Committee an overview of the Active Travel Plan, highlighting the key areas for consideration. The main Act placed a number of duties on the local authority to facilitate active travel. This was mainly by creating, upgrading, mapping and promoting the routes and the activity overall in order to be able to identify the schemes that the Council wanted to take forward.


The Committee were shown a short animation film that explained the work conducted by the department, and gave a basic overview of Active Travel proposals.

As part of the Welsh government's Active Travel Act, the Department had been working hard to improve the walking and cycling routes around the city with minimal disruptions once completed. Not only would the routes be better, safer and more accessible for all, but also would speed up travel time. By building active travel into everyday journeys, it would improve physical health, support mental wellbeing, help the environment and enhance the local community and the economy.


The Department had investigated the feasibility and accessibility of routes.

There had been a number of consultation events over the last five years. The first of these was in 2015 when the existing route network was identified and the second was in 2017, where the integrated network map of the proposed routes had been identified. As a result of these consultations, the public had suggested where they wanted routes and then the feasibility of those suggested routes was investigated. Slides were shown to identify existing travel routes and suggested integrated cycle networks. Since 2015 some routes had been completed and the map would be updated as part of the forthcoming Network Map Review.


As part of the Welsh Government Active Travel consultation, Newport City Council had engaged with partners, public, people with protected characteristics and children to encourage more people to walk and cycle. In the initial stage (February / March 2021) feedback was sought from all stakeholders and public on the barriers that kept people from walking and cycling in their area.  A first draft of the Active Travel Network Map for Newport would be prepared based on this feedback. The approved Active Travel Network Map would then go into statutory consultation with Welsh Government in Autumn 2021 and the final ATNM be handed over to Welsh Government by 31/12/2021.


A short video was shown promoting public engagement for the projects, existing routes and what improvements could be made. The Committee were advised of the amount of visitors, contributions, comments and agreements made.


Members asked the following:


·         A member commented positively on the lighting along Coed Melyn footpath and queried the provision of additional waste bins for dog waste.

The Service Manager replied that the key standout feature of that path at the moment had been the installation of the lighting and obviously in the winter months commuting in the early hours of the late hours, it was inevitably going to be a bit dark and so providing lighting was a really important way of encouraging users to use those paths. They also had to be considerate of nocturnal ecology of that area. Lighting needed to be low level, bright enough to light the path, but not spread the light to the surrounding area or affect bats, badgers and other nocturnal creatures. The Head of City Services stated that all waste bins were suitable for mixed waste, including dog waste and that maybe there was some merit in promoting and reinforcing this information to the public.


·         A member asked how we were currently performing in terms of responses to the consultation and how the public could get involved in responding.

The Team responded that to date they had received 2,383 visitors to the website, and the total contribution of 2,167 comments. In comparison, in 2000 there had been only 69 comments. The responses were also geographically spaced, evidence that the people who were using the active routes that had been implemented in those areas were keen to use active travel as a different mode of transport, such as the Rogerstone ward. There was a dedicated Active Travel page on the Council website and the consultation was being pushed on social media channels, the Youth Council and more engagement was being made with schools. Once the data received had been analysed, the first draft of the network map would be produced and then sent back out for public consultation.


·         A member commented that it was important to promote extensively the routes, footpaths and open spaces throughout the City so people could utilise them and promote active travel. He suggested possibly promotion by guided tours around these areas as the amount of work that had gone into these schemes warranted use by as many people as possible.


The Project Officer commented that whilst we had been working hard to increase the number of walking and cycling routes across the city, we knew there was more we needed to do to improve the infrastructure. This was where the public consultation became effective. We needed as many people as possible to have their say - local residents, employers and schools, walking and cycling groups and community groups. This would enable us to know what new routes could be added, which would enable more journeys on bike or on foot. The more responses we received, the better the needs of the whole community would be reflected.


The Chairman thanked the Team for their presentation and congratulated them on their work carried out to date.


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