63% of young people in Wales in favour of higher active travel spend

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those aged 16-24 support allocating 10% of the Welsh transport budget to cycling and walking, while just 8% oppose it, a YouGov poll has found.

In a poll carried out this month by YouGov on behalf of Cycling UK, 1,194 people were asked whether they would support or oppose a pledge by the Welsh Government to spend at least 10% of the transport budget on active travel. Overall, 49% said they would support this commitment, while 15% would oppose it. Of the remainder, 27% said they would neither support nor oppose such a move and 10% didn’t know.

Support was strongest among those aged 16-24, with nearly eight times as many (63%) in favour of the spending pledge as opposing it (8%). Levels of support decreased with increasing age of respondents, but still outweighed opposition in all age groups: of those aged 65+, 41% were in favour while 18% were against.

Securing a pledge to commit one-tenth of transport spending to active travel is among the 11 asks for the next Welsh Government set out by Cycling UK in its manifesto for cycling, which was published in February ahead of the Senedd elections on 6th May.

Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK engagement officer for Wales, said the results of the poll send a ‘clear message’ to politicians that increasing funding for active travel is a vote-winner, especially among the age group who may be voting for the first time. “Overall, more than three times as many people surveyed support our target for spending on cycling and walking than oppose it. Among 16- to 24-year-olds it is almost eight times as many, and we hope that the next Welsh Government will listen to young people and deliver on the promise of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

“But the results show that support outweighs opposition regardless of voting intention, age, social class or location in Wales. During the pandemic, we have seen quieter roads encourage many more people to ride bikes both for leisure and for essential journeys. It proved that people will choose to cycle if they feel safe. The public has sent a clear message: the Welsh Government must seize the opportunity to maintain this momentum and create a healthier, happier and greener nation.”

The March 2021 budget included an additional £20 million for active travel in Wales, increasing the total planned 2021-22 investment in active travel projects and interventions to around £75 million.

Read the April issue of BikeBiz below:

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