Welsh Govt Road Rage is a Sustainability Car Crash
During today’s bout of engine-revving by Westminster and Cardiff over the possibility of a new relief road in South Wales the main casualty seems to be WG’s sustainability credentials.
While arguments rage about whether a toll can or can not be imposed from London, it’s disappointing to see the Welsh Government pushing for a huge new road-building scheme while cutting bus services to rural areas.
It begs the question as to whether the WG’s commitment to ‘put sustainable development at the core of everything they do‘ has been lost in the exhaust fumes.
New roads have been consistently shown to encourage car use so building more free capacity results in an inevitable return to gridlock. Tolls only result in deserted highways. Either way there are better ways to spend £2bn to provide sustainable transport infrastructure for Wales.
Railway connections could be reopened (eg Ebbw Vale-Newport), a freight terminal could be built at Llanwern and more could be done to encourage the thousands of commuters who pile onto the M4 to travel just a couple of junctions to use the trains and/or buses.
In the same week the Welsh Government has bought Cardiff Airport.
It’s hard to see how rural Welsh communities are going to see value for money from these initiatives.
At the same time, are new roads and airports really the best way to deliver a sustainable transport strategy for Wales?