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Welsh Government deprioritises cars for lower carbon forms of transport

Image credit: reuters

The Welsh Government has revealed its draft strategy to reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector, placing private cars at the bottom of the list for investment.

Transport currently makes up 17 per cent of Wales’ carbon emissions and the draft strategy, Llwybr Newydd – New Path, is set to shape the country’s transport system over the next two decades. It contains nine ‘mini-plans’ for modes and sectors: active travel, rail, bus, roads, the third sector, taxis and private hire vehicles, freight and logistics, and ports, maritime transport and aviation.

The plan sets out a range of new ambitions to reshape transport in Wales, including a new sustainable transport hierarchy that will help shape investments towards greener transport options.

Transport minister Ken Skates said it was a ‘once in a generation’ moment to put public transport at the heart of Wales future.

Published as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect daily lives, the strategy recognises that patterns of less commuting and more home working are likely to continue.

The Welsh Government has already outlined its long-term ambition for 30 per cent of the workforce to work from home or remotely, achieved by giving people more choice over how and where they work. The strategy recognises that more local services and more active travel can mean fewer people needing to use their cars daily.

Llwybr Newydd sets out four long-term ambitions for the transport system in Wales, delivered through a set of five-year priorities. It also contains nine ‘mini-plans’ for modes and sectors: active travel; rail; bus; roads (including streets and parking; the third sector; taxis and private hire vehicles; freight and logistics; and ports, maritime transport and  aviation.

“Our public transport system is one of the most important national assets we have,” Skates said. “It connects people to one another, binds communities together and enables businesses to grow and expand. It’s one of the most powerful tools for social justice and inclusive growth that we possess.”

“But in 2020 we stand at an important moment in its development. Our climate is in crisis, new technology is disrupting the way we think about travel itself and Coronavirus is severely testing the financial and economic foundations of public transport models.”

“Our new strategy - Llwybr Newydd – sets out a commitment to a major reduction in transport emissions so we are all playing our part in the address the crisis we face.  It shows how promoting social justice and tackling the climate emergency will be at the heart of our work, particularly in the context of a pandemic which is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and play.”

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