At a visit to Maesteg Comprehensive School, which has benefited from £350,000 Welsh Government funding for walking and cycling routes, Hart said 30 new projects would be fully or partly funded in the 2014/15 financial year.
Local authorities will receive money through the Safe Routes in Communities programme for crossings, traffic calming measures, cycle paths, footpaths, secure cycle facilities and lighting.
The Minister said: “I am pleased to announce funding for these 30 new projects which will ensure more people will be able to walk or cycle safely to schools and other parts of their communities. As well as improving safety the Safe Routes in Communities programme encourages physical activity and reduces reliance on the car. It is encouraging to see the positive impact the Safe Routes to School funding has had for pupils and the wider community here in Maesteg.”
Anne Carhart the headteacher of Maesteg Comprehensive School said: “The Safe Routes in Communities funding has provided safe and scenic routes to school and a healthier option for pupils and the wider community to use. The routes are fantastic and many pupils and staff are now walking or cycling to school.”
Councillor Phil White, cabinet member for communities at Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “We have already carried out a great deal of work on establishing secure, hazard-free routes throughout the area, so it’s great to hear that the Welsh government is providing further Safe Routes in Communities funding. As well as cutting back on traffic congestion, the programme is benefiting residents of all ages by establishing safe walking and cycling routes which in turn are supporting our efforts to encourage people to become more active and live healthier lifestyles.”
Maesteg Comprehensive received funding in 2010/11 towards a new walking and cycling route to Nantyffyllon/Cwrt y Mwnws, a new footpath and crossing to Crown Road and improvement of the footpath to South Parade. In 2011/12 they got money towards a new walking and cycling road between Cwmdu Road and the school.
The local authority projects to receive funding for 2014/15 are listed below:
- Cardiff receives £294,000 to provide new pedestrian crossings and improve footways in Caerau and Ely and £111,080 for improved walkways and crossings in Grangetown.
- Carmarthenshire get £594,000 for traffic calming measures and improved footways in 15 locations around Llwynhendy, Pemberton and Llanelli.
- Swansea receives £555,000 for the introduction of 20mph zones and associated traffic calming works, footpath improvements and cycling facilities for three primary schools in Townhill/Mayhill.
- Torfaen receives £313,300 for projects to improve walking and cycling routes in six different areas of Pontypool.
- Denbighshire is awarded £356,000 for a series of traffic calming measures and provision of walking and cycling routes in West Rhyl.
- Bridgend local authority get £215,490 for improving cycle and walking routes for Cornelly Primary School and linking them into the community access route in Marlas Estate. They also receive £57,333 for a scheme to improve walking and cycling facilities at Cynffig Comprehensive School.
- Pembrokeshire receives £136,000 for a scheme to improve walking and cycling facilities at Pennar Primary School. A scheme to improve cycling and walking facilities and traffic calming at Pembroke Secondary School, gets a contribution of £60,000.
- Blaenau Gwent has been awarded £106,755 to provide a footpath linking Nantyglo to Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg and the industrial estate.
- Merthyr Tydfil receives £308,000 to create safe walking and cycling route, with four crossings, from Newland Park Penydarren to Cyfarthfa High School.
- Neath Port Talbot gets £250,000 towards a scheme for new footpaths, lighting and improvements to existing cycle and footpaths at Dyffryn Comprhensive School. They also receive £202,400 for improved footways and crossings to Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive and Waunceriech Primary School.
- Powys has been awarded £50,000 to create a new footpath, linking with an existing footpath to Maesyrhandir / Cedwain Schools.
- Caerphilly receives £40,000 towards a 20mph scheme and improved cycling facilities at Penllwyn Primary School, Pontllanffraith.
- Gwynedd get £67,776 for traffic calming and new footpath in Nefyn and £58,659 for road safety and footpath improvements at Ysgol y Gorlan, Tremadog.
- Vale of Glamorgan is awarded £284,288 towards a project to extend the 20mph zone and existing footpath outside Barry Comprehensive School. They also receive £50,810 to improve the crossing at Jenner Park and £109,501 to upgrade the crossing and introduce a 20mph zone at Ysgol Sant Curig.
- Isle of Anglesey gets £125,850 towards a scheme for five new footways and various tactile paving in the communities of Lladegfan and Llansadwrn. They also get £59,221 towards the provision of footways and traffic calming measures at Valley.
- Rhondda Cynon Taf receives £267,000 for traffic calming measures and improved footpaths around three schools in Rhydyfelin. They also get £20,000 towards a project to create new pedestrian crossings and cycle shelters at the school and swimming pool in Maerdy.
- Monmouthshire is awarded £25,000 for a new zebra crossing and footway near Llantilio Pertholey Junior School.
- Ceredigion receives £85,000 for the provision of footpaths and traffic calming measures in Commins Coch.
- Flintshire gets £83,000 to improve walking and cycling routes to Northop Hall Primary School and £66,000 for a puffin crossing, cycle racks and new path on Hawarden Road, Hope.