£28.5m boost for sustainable travel in Cardiff

Welsh capital hopes to emulate success of Copenhagen

Cardiff has been given £28.5 million of government money to develop sustainable travel. This should mean improved cycling provision and fewer cars on the roads.

The cash, which will arrive over the next two years, will pay for free bike hire and improved cycle routes. Some will go towards the development of the Pont-y-Werin pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Ely river, between Cardiff’s Sports Village complex and Penarth.

Plans for those not on two wheels include free city centre bus travel, park-and-ride facilities, pedestrianisation, journey-sharing schemes and car clubs.

Lee Waters, of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, said: “We fully support the vision to make the Welsh capital a sustainabletravelcity. Thirty years ago Copenhagen had the same levels of cycling that Cardiff has today. Now over a third of all commuting journeys in the Danish capital are by bike. Cardiff has the potential to achieve the same.”

A new cycling and walking bridge opened in Copenhagen in 2006 linking the areas of Vesterbro and Amager. A week later, 3,000 cyclists a day were using it. In 2006, 36 percent of workers in Copenhagen cycled in (500,000 people). Their target is to have 50 percent of people cycling to work or school by 2015.

In a wider distribution of  Welsh Assembly transport money, Denbighshire received £2m for cycle routes in the River Clwyd area and every local authority in Wales will get a share of £8m-plus for cycling and walking in the form of money towards the Safe Routes in Communities project.

The Welsh Assembly Government’s new Walking and Cycling Action Plan for Wales 2009-2013 sets out plans to treble the number of people cycling to work or school and double the number of adults cycling for recreation.

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