Figures released by the Welsh Government on Thursday report that only six percent of adults in Wales ride a bike as a mode of transport.
Coming just a year after the government’s Active Travel Act, which is aimed at encouraging people to walk or cycle instead of using their cars, the figures show that around 77% of adults continue to use their car to get to work, as well as revealing that 59% tend to drive a car to visit the local shops.
The Welsh government hopes to reach a figure of 10 per cent active travel by 2020 through improving cycling and walking networks around the country, but last year received criticism from cycling campaigners Sustrans Cymru for not backing up their plans with suitable funds, with charity calling on the government to trouble the available money for the action plan.
Commenting on Thursday’s figures, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Minister, Eluned Parrott said in a statement that the government must immediately address the issue on why so many are inactive.
“We know that walking helps individuals to get and stay healthy as well as reducing congestion on our road system, which is why it’s alarming that a third of adults don’t regularly walk,” said Parrott.
“The Welsh Labour Government must act to find out why such large numbers don’t walk regularly and address any concerns they may have, to encourage Wales to become a more active and healthy population.”
The Welsh Government responded in a statement: “The act will place a requirement on local authorities in Wales to systematically plan for walking and cycling, based around their citizens’ needs, and to make year-on-year improvements. The Welsh Government and local authorities will also be required to promote walking and cycling.”