Responsibilities & Strategies
The Welsh Government is responsible for transport policy and delivery within Wales although it does not have control over all the railways.
In February 2021, the Welsh Government adopted the country's first development plan Future Wales: The National Plan 2040 which aims for people to live in places where travel has low environmental impact and low emissions, with reduced reliance on private vehicles.
It followed this up a month later with a new transport strategy: Llwybr Newydd: the Wales Transport Strategy 2021 where it sets out how it wants to deliver a more equitable and sustainable transport system in Wales that works better for everyone, now and in the future. The strategy sets out a sustainable transport hierarchy to guide investment as follows:
- walking and cycling (highest priority)
- public transport
- ultra-low emission vehicles
- other private motor vehicles (lowest priority)
Then in October 2021 it produced Net Zero Wales Carbon Budget 2 where it outlines how it will deliver on its climate change pledges. As part of this document it set a series of ambitious transport targets:
- Reduce average car miles travelled per person by 10% below 2019 levels by 2030
- Increase the proportion of trips by public transport and active travel to 35% by 2025 and 39% by 2030
- By 2025 it wants to see 10% of passenger travel by zero emission car and 48% of new car sales to be zero emission
In September 2021, Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change in the Welsh Government set up an independent panel and asked it to review new road projects that haven't started construction against climate change objectives.
Most of the road schemes currently in development in Wales were conceived before the adoption of these latest plans and strategies.
The Roads Review examined the pipeline of road investment to assess whether it was aligned with these new policies. It was also informed by the goals in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
It published the following reports:
- The future of road investment in Wales - Roads Review Panel Report (February 2023)
- Initial Roads Review Panel Report (February 2022)
- Llanbedr access road and bypass (November 2021)
The Welsh Government has set up two transport commissions to look at alternative transport options for different parts of Wales.
South East Wales
The South East Wales Transport Commission, chaired by Lord Burns, was established to look at alternative ways of reducing congestion on the M4. It published its final report in November 2020. In January 2021 the Welsh Government set up the Burns Delivery Unit to accelerate implementation of the 58 recommendations of the Commission. It produced its second annual report in January 2023.
In February 2022, the Welsh Government announced it would set up a North Wales Transport Commission to hold a year-long review to develop recommendations for road, rail, bus and active travel across the whole of north Wales. The commission produced its interim report in June 2023.
Transport Action Network Cymru has been set up to strengthen our presence in Wales and to provide more focus for our work around the roads review.
We will be pressing for the current unsustainable levels of spending on new roads (62% of the capital transport budget) to be redirected to support more walking, cycling and public transport to reduce carbon emissions and provide a more equitable transport network.
If you would like to get in touch with Rhian Nowell-Phillips, our Welsh roads and climate campaigner, you can phone her on: 07802 775780
Facebook and Twitter: @TANCymru