A ban on new roads and improvement in bus and train services should be made if Wales is to play a major part in tackling climate change, a report by Friends of the Earth Cymru (FOEC).
It said transport is the ‘problem sector’ in Wales for carbon emissions with only a small reduction in emissions since 1990.
“Positive change for communities and climate is possible if universal service standards are set and public transport (buses, trams and trains) is coordinated and controlled. Rural areas should have a guaranteed hourly service running from 6am to midnight while denser urban settlements should have a guaranteed 15-minute service. Given the financial impact of COVID-19 on public transport, the Welsh Government must fast-track the franchising of buses,” said its Climate Action Plan for Wales.
The government must also aim to at least double the proportion of journeys made by walking, cycling and public transport by 2030. It should use fiscal measures and incentives to achieve this, such as; free bus travel, reduced train fares and grants for e-bikes, to help make this a success.
“If the Welsh Government invest in good segregated pathways and e-bike schemes, the proportion of journeys possible by bike rises to 21%. When cars are needed, for example in very rural areas, car-sharing should be encouraged and supported, including by employers,” the report also said.
The Climate Action Plan said the Welsh government must outline steps for ‘much deeper and fast’ cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. It calls to target a 100% cut in emissions ‘well before’ 2045. The Welsh Government’s plans is to cut emissions by 95% by 2050.
To help reach the goal, FOEC wants the government to set a rule for it not to invest in or give permission for any high carbon infrastructure such as new roads, gas power plants or incinerators.