The Welsh Government today published its new draft Wales Transport Strategy, which will focus on reducing the sector’s carbon footprint.
The strategy – “Llwybr Newydd – New Path” – will shape Wales’ transport system over the next two decades.
Announcing the strategy in the Senedd, Lee Waters, the Deputy Economy and Transport Minister, said the vision was to “rebuild connections between people in the short-term, whilst re-shaping our transport networks to respond to the challenges of climate change.”
Transport currently makes up 17% of Wales’ carbon emissions but Welsh Government has committed to stretching decarbonisation targets in the sector.
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. A series of mini-plans for areas like buses, rail and parking are also included.
Mr Waters argued it was a “once in a generation moment to put public transport at the heart of the Wales we want to build.”
“We do not want to return to the old normal of in terms of transport emissions nor previous levels of road traffic.In parts of my constituency such as Sandy Road or the M4 junction near Hendy, traffic has become a blight on people’s lives and their health.”
“Transport has a big role to play in getting us onto a lower carbon path, and our new strategy will need to have modal shift at its centre: fewer car journeys, and a much greater share of trips by sustainable forms of transport” He said.
“That means re-regulating and improving bus services, and providing joined-up walking and cycling routes such as the segregated one being built right through the spine of Llanelli; from Hendy in the North through to Delta Lakes by the coast. Such a scheme will need a full network of routes linking to it in order to give people real alternatives to how they move around the town” He added.
“It’s going to take a big effort to encourage people to consider these alternatives. Llwybr Newydd is not business as usual – it needs to be a conversation with the people of Wales, because we will only achieve change if people choose to change.”
The consultation has now been launched for people to read and have their say on the plans, which runs until January 25th 2021: https://gov.wales/llwybr-newydd#respond-block.