Is active travel change really possible?

The pace of active travel improvements can sometime feel, shall we say, more Mary Poppins than Geraint Thomas?

However, don’t be disheartened.

Active travel change really IS possible.

Furthermore, as bodies like the Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff Council and Public Health Wales increasingly work towards delivery under “the Wellbeing of Future Generations” and “Active Travel” acts, and against the declared “Climate Emergency” in Wales, active travel change will increasingly be on many agendas.

Here are a few examples of what’s already been achieved in Cardiff:

Ysgol Hamadryad in Cardiff Bay became Wales’ first Active Travel school. When it opened as a brand new Welsh medium primary school the staff and Governors ensured it did so with all its children arriving by active means. It uses a car exclusion zone, walking buses, travel planning with parents and a range of other sustainability initiatives to frequently enjoy 0% (yes, 0%) of parents driving to school. For more details on these successes, see our page dedicated to the Ysgol Hamadryad story.

Cardiff Council has already launched its “Cardiff School Streets” pilot scheme to close roads to non- residents around five schools at the start and end of their school day. Initially Melin Gruffydd, Pencaerau, Peter Lea, Llandaff Church and Landsdowne primary schools are piloting the scheme with a view to the Council rolling out the scheme more widely.

Howardian primary school in Penylan have achieved the Sustrans Silver School Mark Award for demonstrating its commitment to promoting active and sustainable travel. In order to promote walking, scooting and cycling the school and their “Active Journeys Crew” have run scooter and bike “bling’ competitions, designed safe travel posters, taken part in the Sustrans “Big Shift” and “Big Pedal” initiatives and awarded medals to children who actively travel to school.

Ysgol y Wern primary school in Llanishen has worked with both Cardiff Cycle City and Cardiff Council on active travel. The C=CC on-line survey plus activities at the school Summer Fair helped survey parent feedback and safe routes. A 20 mph speed limit, parking restriction signage and bollards have helped slow traffic and alleviate pavement parking. City Council dialogues continue to possibly secure funding for a new zebra crossing, path improvements in the adjacent parkland and upgraded cycle parking facilities.

The award-winning Greener Grangetown project alongside the River Taff has transformed this part of Cardiff into a cleaner, greener place to live, walk and cycle. As Wales’ first ever “bicycle street” it slows traffic by design, planted 135 new trees and thousands of shrubs and grasses, created a community orchard, added 26 new cycle stands, 12 new litter bins and 9 new seats and benches.