Wales can only contribute to the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target if there is long-term investment in the funding of services and infrastructure, so that bus and coach travel can become people’s preferred transport of choice, according to Joshua Miles, Director at the Confederation of Passenger Transport in Wales.
“These policies are not designed to bash motorists, instead it is about making bus and coach journeys more attractive.
“Decision-makers in Wales should see bus policy packages as fair and achievable measures to slash carbon, generate new tax revenue, create more jobs and make people healthier.”
CPT Cymru says that to go the full distance of meeting decarbonisation targets, bus packages across Wales must cover three key policy areas, with license to adapt according to local needs:
- Investment in bus services and infrastructure to increase attractiveness of the bus network, building on local authority plans to deliver the National Bus Strategy
- Subsidising bus fares
- Charging motorists to drive in congested urban areas
An example comprehensive policy ticket would be to combine £1bn per year investment in bus services with a £2 fare cap and a congestion charge in urban local authorities. This could get Wales three quarters of the way to its net zero goal – while making buses faster, cheaper and more convenient.
The urban congestion charge would raise sufficient revenue to pay for other elements of the package, provide targeted support to help motorists meet the cost and help government in moving away from a dependency on fuel duty.
If picked up by decision makers, these policies could reverse a passenger decline per decade of 25% over the past decade, increasing bus patronage by 25% per decade up to 2050.