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Have your say on Active Travel routes in Rhondda Cynon Taf

Residents now have a further opportunity to provide feedback on walking and cycling provision in Rhondda Cynon Taf as part of a consultation exercise.

This latest engagement opportunity allows residents to view an updated version of the local Active Travel Network Map, which all Councils in Wales must submit to Welsh Government by the end of 2021. The Map outlines the existing walking and cycling routes, and also shows new routes which the Council is committed to creating within its local communities in the future.

This statutory exercise follows a consultation held by the Council from December 2020 to February 2021, in which 695 responses were received from residents. This feedback was very useful, and has informed a number of key updates which have since been made to the Network Map.

The latest consultation has now started, and will remain open until Tuesday, November 9. It will initially focus on 22 areas in the County Borough (listed below), asking residents to identify any gaps in the current walking and cycling network and to put forward ideas on how to rectify these. Residents are also asked if there are any routes that they use which are not included on the Map.

Those wishing to take part should visit the Council’s website, here. This homepage contains links to the 22 individual areas which the current consultation focuses on.

Each link contains a local map outlining the current and future walking and cycling routes for the chosen area. There are also six questions on each area page, allowing participants to submit details about any existing routes that are missing from the map, any gaps in the network and any additional comments.

As well as being able to respond to the consultation online, residents can book appointments to provide feedback to Officers. These sessions will be held in a number of Rhondda Cynon Taf libraries. Further details will be provided on the consultation pages in due course. The Council will also be liaising with a number of key stakeholders during the consultation.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “This consultation provides the final formal opportunity for the public to have their say on local walking and cycling routes in Rhondda Cynon Taf, before we, along with all other Local Authorities in Wales, submit our updated Network Map to Welsh Government by the end of the year.

“There are some key questions which we are asking in this process, counting on residents’ local knowledge to ensure our updated Map is as accurate and comprehensive as possible. For example, have we identified the correct routes for future improvement, have we identified all appropriate new routes, and are we correct in assessing current routes as meeting agreed standards?

“Welsh Government has rightly identified Active Travel as a key priority, as it has numerous benefits for individuals and communities. The Council plays a key role in encouraging more people to walk and cycle, not just for leisure but as part of daily journeys – including accessing education and employment. Targeted schemes to improve Active Travel provision are continually being brought forward, while opportunities to maximise walking and cycling where possible are key considerations in our highway improvement schemes.

“Walking and cycling is also a key message in our Climate Change roles and commitments, as a key alternative to driving – including using Active Travel to access public transport. Fewer vehicles on our road network ensure fewer carbon emissions, while also reducing journey times and congestion.

“I’d urge residents to take part in the Active Travel consultation before the November 9 deadline. This will allow Officers to consider the feedback, and make the appropriate additions and changes to our Network Map – which will act as our blueprint for Active Travel investment over the coming years.”

The consultation is initially focusing on the following 22 areas – Abercynon, Aberdare, Beddau, Church Village, Ferndale, Hirwaun, Llanharan, Llanharry, Llantrisant, Mountain Ash, Pontyclun, Pontypridd, Porth, Rhydyfelin, Taff’s Well, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Tonyrefail, Treforest, Treherbert, Treorchy and Tylorstown.