People urged to cycle their way to healthier lifestyle

By Alex Jones in Local People

PEOPLE across Dwyfor and Meirionnydd could soon be strutting or cycling their way to a healthier and better lifestyle.

Pioneering new legislation from the Welsh Government will see new ‘active travel routes’ placed in every town in the constituency.

At a recent Tywyn Town Council meeting, Cllrs Alun Wyn Evans, Nancy Clarke and Anne Lloyd Jones discussed plans for a ‘green’ route through town with Gwynedd Council’s Transportation and Street Care Service.

The walking route, which must be completed by September 2017, will take locals and visitors on a scenic tour around Tywyn passing by the town’s major attractions such as the seafront, Talyllyn Railway and Leisure Centre.

Similar routes will be introduced throughout Wales.

The scheme intends to promote walking and cycling as primary forms of transport.

Cllr Anne Lloyd Jones was pleased with the initial talks.

“We tried to decide where the journey would start and end and potential stop-offs,” she said.

“It was a very interesting meeting and I’m sure the whole town would benefit from such a scheme.

“We hope to capitalise on our existing infrastructure, like the cycle path to Aberdyfi, and make the town greener.

“We made it clear that there were areas of town that would need tidying up, such as behind Idris Villas, but we look forward to constructing and scrutinising a cost effective plan for Tywyn.

“We’ll be drawing up maps in the new year.”

Cllr Ron McCoo was quick to applaud the initiative and is looking forward to seeing the route in action.

When asked about the ‘active travel route’, a spokesperson for the Welsh Government said: “The Active Travel Act, which is considered to be a world first, makes it a legal requirement for local authorities in Wales to map and plan for suitable routes for active travel, and to build and improve their infrastructure for walking and cycling every year.

“It creates new duties for highways authorities to consider the needs of walkers and cyclists and make better provision for them.

“It also requires both the Welsh Government and local authorities to promote walking and cycling as a mode of transport.”

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