Cardiff-born Double Olympic gold medallist Geraint Thomas has issued his support for proposals to make Wales a leading cycling nation.
Following yesterday’s release of British Cycling’s Choose Cycling blueprint, the Welsh Government highlighted proposals of the Active Travel Act set out for Wales last September.
Mr Thomas, widely tipped as a future Tour de France winner, gave his support for the proposals by the Welsh Government to build on the recent success of British cycling and the sport’s increasing popularity.
The Team Sky rider, 27, said: “”It’s great to see Wales taking steps to really drive the Choose Cycling manifesto forwards, through the Active Travel Act. As a bike rider, it’s fantastic to have witnessed such an increase in participation in recent years – I really do notice it when I spent time back home.”
The Choose Cycling proposals, launched yesterday by another gold medallist, Chris Boardman, set out a 10-point list of objectives to bring cycling participation to the levels seen across Europe.
This release followed the Cambridge University research showing the NHS could save at least £250 million if 1 in 10 trips were made by bicycle.
The majority of all journeys made in the UK are less than 5 miles, yet half of these are travelled by car.
A spokesperson for the Welsh Government said: “We are leading the way in terms of making cycling an everyday choice.
“The Active Travel Act makes it a legal requirement for local authorities to map and plan suitable routes for cycling and to build and improve their infrastructure every year. We are the first country in the World to take this important step.
“We agree that by increasing cycling levels we can improve the health of our nation, boost our economy, increase tourism and cut congestion.
“I would encourage other parts of the UK to consider our approach because the expected benefits are so important and far reaching.”
The Active Travel Act is a world-first legislation requiring Local Authorities to map and plan suitable routes with yearly reviews for development. One key proposal is to increase funding for cycling to £10 per head.
Geraint Thomas is currently in training for the Ruta del Sol road race alongside fellow Team Sky tour-winner Bradley Wiggins.
The full report is available here:
The Active Travel Act (Wales) 2013 is available here: