Reducing car journeys by half by 2030

Our aim is to reduce car usage to 50 per cent of all journeys by 2030, with 30 per cent using public transport, 10 per cent walking and 10 per cent cycling.

To achieve this level of change we envisage a major shift in capital investment from roads to public transport. We want to move Wales away from a system dominated by petrol-driven cars towards more sustainable transportation. We would allocate at least 50 per cent of capital transport spend on improving bus and train services.

We would explore the use of financial and other powers to reduce car use. Measures could include restricting parking in city centres, differential road pricing, while recognising the different context in rural communities. We would introduce a target for reducing road traffic in Wales, with five-year milestones, as part of the legal requirement to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

M4 Congestion

Plaid Cymru rejects the UK Government’s costly and environmentally damaging proposal for a new M4 motorway relief road south of Newport. The £1.6 billion it would cost would displace many more worthy projects including public transport improvements throughout Wales. It would be environmentally damaging, both directly on the Gwent Levels and indirectly, through carbon emissions and pollution. Its effect would be to further increase commuting by car and push congestion on the M4 further west.

With six motorway junctions but only one railway station, Newport needs more stations not more motorway traffic. We support Lord Burns’ South East Wales Transport Commission’s recommendations for upgrading the southern main railway line to provide six new stations and an improved commuter service.

We would develop a comprehensive infrastructure plan for vehicle electrification and invest in a nationwide publicly owned charging network, including the next generation of ultra-rapid charging points at petrol stations across Wales. Our national energy company will ensure the energy grid keeps pace with demand and ensures our new electric cars are powered by local, renewable energy where possible.

In addition:

  • We ouldl facilitate the creation of low emission zones in Swansea, Cardiff, Newport and Wrexham, with charges for high-emission vehicles. 
  • We would invest in recharging infrastructure to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles.
  • Local authorities and public bodies will be required to provide electrification points in all public car parks and regulate to ensure there is provision in private car parks with capacity for more than 100 vehicles.
  • We would regulate to ensure that 10 per cent of all parking places in new residential developments have charging stations.
  • We would establish a National Advice Service to advise householders on installing domestic charging for electric vehicles and the use of additional charging sources such as Solar panels. We will support cost effective charging in the workplace.
  • We would work with public bodies to phase out all petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet by 2025, with no new petrol and diesel light commercial vehicles purchased by 2027.
  • We would aim to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel only cars and vans in Wales by 2027 – three years earlier than the rest of the UK.
  • We would explore proposals for electric-only highways and tunnels in areas of high air pollution and congestion.

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