To reach Wales’ net zero goal, low-carbon transport must become the norm.
That’s why the fourth – and final – COP26 Regional Roadshow shone a light on the policy and projects that aim to promote clean transport.
The sessions started with a review on existing policies at a national and local level, especially pan-Wales strategies for electronic vehicles and other low-carbon fuelling infrastructure. This also included active travel – schemes that speakers agreed were crucial in the battle to tackle the climate emergency – and the benefits it can have for health and wellbeing.
Speakers moved onto a deeper review of some of the most exciting clean transport projects in Wales today. South East Wales has seen a notable growth in the number of electric buses, while the event also saw the launch of a new fleet of 44 e-taxis – an initiative spearheaded by the Cardiff Capital Region to limit the reliance on traditional fuel for taxi services. The ‘try before you buy’ scheme allows licensed taxi drivers across the 10 local authorities in the Cardiff Capital Region to try a fully electric, wheelchair accessible taxi, free of charge for 30 days, including free charging, insurance, and breakdown cover.
Looking to the future, projects such as the South Wales Metro were also reviewed, analysing not only how it will make public transport a more attractive option for travellers, but how these services can work in tandem to create a truly integrated network.
This leads onto the final session – a review into how to reduce the reliance on car transport for Welsh residents. Research suggests that the public are largely in favour of using alternative transport where they can, and if they can. So while there is still more to be done to win over the hearts and minds of the public, this suggests the – now more than ever – the impetus is on infrastructure change so that public transport and active travel is a viable alternative.
We now turn our attention to Wales Climate Week (22-26 November). The week will kick-start a nationwide conversation on the Net Zero Wales Plan and the collective action needed to ensure Wales meets its targets. Open to all, the online sessions will help people understand what Wales has already achieved, what changes we can expect in the next five years and how, together, we can shape the future.