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Residents views sought on walking and cycling routes in Neath Port Talbot

Credit: Neath Port Talbot Council

People living in Neath Port Talbot will be asked for their views on both existing and planned walking and cycling (Active Travel) routes in the county borough during a 12-week consultation period beginning July 30th 2021

When the consultation begins, the council will also launch an active travel video competition with the opportunity to win one of ten Fitbits –so keep an eye on the council’s social media accounts for further information!

The consultation follows earlier walking and cycling consultation which took place from November 27th, 2020 to January 15th this year with a total of 2,642 contributions received and 1,040 people responding.

The council has carefully considered all the comments and combined this public opinion together with other relevant information to produce a draft Active Travel Network Map (ATNM) for each of the designated settlements in NPT.

As a result there are an additional 127Km of walking and cycling future routes on the draft Active Travel Network Map being consulted on, compared to the map that was approved in 2017.

The maps for designated settlements show:

• Where routes require improvement and where new routes are needed (labelled “future routes”).

• Routes that already meet the appropriate standard for design of an active travel route (labelled “existing routes”)

The council is now inviting residents to let it know if the proposed routes are more likely to help them get around their local area as a pedestrian or cyclist. If not, the council is asking you to consider what other improvements may be appropriate.

The council is able to apply for funding from the Welsh Government each year to implement the proposals on the Active Travel Network map. If routes are not on the map they are not eligible for funding, so it is important the council understands what matters to residents of Neath Port Talbot.

Active Travel, aimed at giving as many people as possible the ability to choose an alternative to motorised travel, is defined as walking and cycling for everyday purposeful short-distance journeys, not including journeys purely made for recreation or social reasons.

The Active Travel Act (Wales) 2013 requires Welsh councils to prepare, publish and keep under regular review an Active Travel Network Map which comprises existing routes (a public record of the existing routes in the County Borough the council considers suitable for Active Travel meeting Welsh Government standards) and future routes (setting out the council’s aspirations for the next 15 years, identifying improvements to existing routes or additional new routes the council considers should be added to the network).

The council’s ATNM has been reviewed, taking into account earlier comments received from the public and interested parties, and a new Consultation Draft ATNM has now been prepared. This sets out existing routes in built up areas and the council’s aspirations for the next 15 years.

The consultation can be viewed here: www.neathporttalbot2.commonplace.is