The Welsh government has got its priorities wrong over public transport, according to transport expert

Ministers should have improved bus and train services before reducing speeds from 30mph to 20mph on many Welsh roads, Stuart Cole, Emeritus Professor at University of South Wales, has said.

He said public transport facilities should have been “put in before any other anti-motorist legislation”.

The Welsh government said current arrangements were complex across Wales, reports BBC Wales.

But Prof Cole said the Welsh government had “gone about it the wrong way round” although “what they’ve done is not in itself a bad idea”.

He said he wanted to see Wales emulate the Netherlands, where there’s been massive investment in trains and buses to entice motorists out of their cars.

The country has a “rover” travel card – in place since 2007 – which allows people to use buses, trams and trains on the same ticket.

Prof Cole said Wales’ over 60s bus pass could provide the basis for creating such a travel card for wider use here.

“It could be a stored value ticket, so you charge it up every so often… so no different to the London Transport scheme,” he told BBC Politics Wales.

“You can do it also on your phone but just make that bit of it easy.

“And then make sure the timetables integrate so that you can, in fact, come by bus to the railway station.”

Llanelli, in Carmarthenshire, which happens to be Transport Minister Lee Waters’ constituency, is a good

The Welsh government said it had “engaged with a range of public transport representatives” while developing its 20mph policy.

However, it had “since received reports from bus industry representatives about some adverse impacts on services”.

“We have committed to working with them at pace to examine the data they are gathering and to explore solutions,” it said.

Regarding bus transport, it said it had “looked at a range of options to make bus travel easier and more accessible for all in the community by simplifying the fares and ticketing system”.

It said “current arrangements are very complex and inconsistent across Wales”.

“We have been faced with a challenging funding settlement from the UK government and have had to prioritise our bus funding to ensure essential bus services are maintained for communities as part of our Bus Transition Fund.

“We are very keen to progress our bus fare initiatives as soon as the funding position improves.”


Related Stories


All the latest highways news direct to your inbox every week day

Subscribe now