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Neath Port Talbot Council signs up to Healthy Travel Charter

L-R: Karen Jones, Chief Executive of Neath Port Talbot Council, Phillip Mc Donnell, Coordinator for Low Carbon Swansea Bay and Swansea Environmental Forum, Council Leader Cllr Steve Hunt and Jayne Cornelius – Sustainable Travel Officer, Swansea University.

Neath Port Talbot Council has become the latest organisation to sign up to the Swansea Bay Healthy Travel Charter.

The document was officially signed by Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, Cllr Steve Hunt, alongside the council’s Chief Executive Karen Jones at Port Talbot Civic Centre on February 1st, 2023.

The Swansea Bay Healthy Travel Charter was launched in May 2022.

It currently has 12 partner organisations signed up namely, Coastal Housing, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Gower College,  Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, National Waterfront Museum, Natural Resources Wales, Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service (CVS), Pobl Group, Swansea Bay University Health Board, Swansea Council, Swansea Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) and Swansea University.

The charter also has six organisations supporting the signatories in implementing the charter: BikeAbility, Community Transport Association, Low Carbon Swansea Bay, Swansea Environmental Forum, Wheelrights and 4theRegion.

After the signing, Cllr Hunt said: “This charter outlines policies, strategies and interventions to increase the physical activity of staff to counter increasing levels of obesity, diabetes, social isolation and worsening health inequalities through walking and cycling.

“It also encourages the use of ultra-low emission vehicles and public transport to tackle local air pollution and the Climate Emergency. As signatories, we commit to helping implement the elements of the charter, covering communications and leadership, walking, cycling and public transport, agile working and ultra-low emission vehicles.”

Through 17 ambitious actions, the charter promotes walking, cycling, public transport and ultra-low emission vehicle use. The actions include establishing a network of sustainable travel champions within each organisation, developing targeted communications campaigns for staff, offering and promoting the cycle to work scheme and promoting public transport discounts.

By working together, the signatory organisations aim to increase the proportion of journeys made to and from workplaces which are sustainable.

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Wellbeing, Cllr Jeremy Hurley, added: “We’re committed to working with local and regional partners to deliver the actions outlined in the charter.

“Excellent work is already underway, encouraging local people to consider more active and sustainable transport options, such as walking, cycling, using low-emission vehicles and using public transport.”