Emergency healthcare response in Gwent is about to receive a boost – and an environmentally friendly one at that. Following on from its launch in Cardiff and Vale, the Welsh Ambulance Service this week unveiled its new Cycle Response Unit bikes for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) area.
On Friday at The Bike Shed store in Pontcanna, Cardiff, four new specially made bicycles were handed over to the ambulance service and will at first be utilised on the streets of Newport. After initial research work with London Ambulance Service, who have 20 years’ experience of cycle response, local business The Bike Shed were drafted in to work on the perfect bike design to accommodate the 52kg load of equipment they will carry – the same as that in rapid response ambulance car.
Darren Panniers, Ambulance Operations Manager for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, welcomed the project by saying: “We are thrilled to take delivery of the new bikes and once deployed will be a great asset.
A scheme to encourage children and young people to take up cycling and promote active travel, will see 660 bikes delivered to schools across Cardiff by the end of the month.
The School's Bike Fleet scheme provides schools with a fleet of bikes for pupils to use in school for the delivery of cycle training.Funded by Welsh Government, the scheme is a partnership project between Cardiff Council, Welsh Cycling and British Cycling.
Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport said, "The Schools Bike Scheme will aim to increase the number of children taking part in cycling by embedding it into school's curriculum.
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is seeking the views of residents who walk and cycle in and around the town centre.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen exceptional numbers of local residents out walking and cycling - either for leisure or to travel to shops and jobs.
The Welsh Government has developed a COVID-19 Sustainable Transport Fund to help councils ensure that effective social distancing measures are in place, especially in town centres. As a result, the Council has received £414,000 to investigate opportunities to enhance the pedestrian and cycling environment in the town centre and adjacent areas.
Dutch Reach is a simple yet effective technique to prevent 'dooring' - a dreaded and all too common crash, caused when people exiting a vehicle suddenly open a door into the path of a cyclist, or other vulnerable road user.
As active travel increases, safer interaction between cars and bicycles is reliant on co-operation and a greater awareness from drivers regarding the presence of less protected road users.
Partners in Road Safety Wales are promoting the Dutch Reach, asking drivers and passengers to get into the habit of reaching across to the vehicle’s door with their far hand to open it.
‘School Streets' road closures to promote social distancing and encourage active travel when pupils return to school. Cardiff Council is planning to implement School Street road closures to help pupils and families maintain social distancing when schools return for the Autumn term.
In June, temporary road closures were introduced to create School Streets at 24 schools across the city when they reopened for the last few weeks of the summer term.
The streets selected for closures regularly experience problems with traffic and parking during school drop off and pick up times. Closing them to general traffic supported children and families to socially distance when arriving and leaving school.
With the new school term about to start, families across Wales are being encouraged to consider the different transport options available for pupils returning to the classrooms from next week.
Pupils and students intending to travel to and from schools or colleges on scheduled public transport services are also being encouraged to think of others and act responsibly when travelling. Meanwhile, other public transport users are being urged to try to avoid non-essential journeys around the start and end of the school day in order to ensure sufficient capacity for the young travellers.
Pupils in Wales will begin returning at the start of the new term on Tuesday 2 September, with a two-week period for schools to finalise plans. The full return of pupils will come on Monday 14 September.
Road Safety Wales partners have collaborated to produce a child pedestrian training video to share with school contacts and for inclusion on local authority websites and social media channels, for parents to use during the school holidays and beyond.
The resource has been created during lockdown at no real cost to the Road Safety Wales partnership, thanks to the input of Road Safety Officers and their much appreciated family volunteers. Special thanks go to Angharad Barrett of Blaenau Gwent CBC and Charlie Gordon of Swansea Council for their help in making this lockdown project possible.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many children in Wales benefitted from pedestrian training or Kerbcraft at school, thanks to road safety grant funding from the Welsh Government. Social distancing requirements made practical training of this nature at school impossible; this package has been developed to assist in equipping children with pedestrian skills for life.
Neris from the Road Safety Section in Ceredigion County Council and PCSO Eleri from Dyfed Powys Police have put together a short training video aimed at helping young children remain safe when out walking and looking for safe places to cross the road.
The video provides information on what to look out for on a vehicle and how to know if a vehicle is about to move. From engine noise to reverse lights, it is important that children can comprehend what these different clues mean in order for them to be able to assess any potential dangers.
The video provides a brief introduction to issues usually covered in Kerbcraft training, which cannot take place at present, due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, is determined to grasp an opportunity for change and make sure people continue to ditch the car in favour of cycling or walking when the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Visible increases in number of people cycling and walking
£38 million to make Wales a safer place to cycle, scoot and walk
Biggest ever investment in local active travel improvements
Today, the Welsh Government has announced £38 million to make Wales a safer place to cycle, scoot and walk.
Together with the £15.4m announced last month, this is the largest ever investment in local active travel improvements in Wales, which will fund projects to make it safer for children and adults to get to school or work on foot, bike or scooter.
Lives can be saved across Wales by reducing default speed limits from 30mph to 20mph, says Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters. The Deputy Minister has introduced an independent report recommending that Wales becomes the first nation in the world to adopt the bold new measure by 2023.
The result of a year-long study by a taskforce made up of police, local authorities, public health experts and other key partners such as road safety groups, the report makes 21 practical recommendations for implementation across Wales.
Lee Waters said, “Eighty children were killed or seriously injured in Wales in the last year for which we have figures.