Today the Welsh Government will announce that an additional £6m will be used to develop sustainable transport over the next year across the country. The funding will help create travel centres that are sustainable in Aberystwyth, Mon a Menai and Carmarthen and Haverfordwest and a Cardiff pilot scheme.
Opposition parties and environmental groups both welcomed the move but mentioned additional effort is needed to change the habits of travelers. A spokesperson from Welsh Conservative transport Byron Davies said it was very important that the impact of the sustainable measure were properly measured.
He further said that benchmarks need to be made now if sustainable travel is to be appropriately developed in future years. The travel centres will try to encourage different modes of transport instead of the car by investment in infrastructure initiatives. The Cardiff scheme has free cycle hire, new cycling and walking routes in the city and better public transport.
The largest piece of the funding will go to Cardiff with £1.7m and then Aberystwyth and Mon a Menai with £1m with Carmarthen and Haverfordwest each getting £0.5m. The remaining will go to developing personalized travel planning (PTP) that gives householders information and advice on transport other than driving.
PTP will be trialled initially in Cardiff with householders travel habits via a survey. England has already trialled similar schemes and has cut down by 10% journeys in the car.
Carl Sergeant Transport Minister said giving the individual realistic alternatives to driving and changing their attitude with regard to transport the goal can be achieved of a sustainable transport system for Wales.
The travel centres are vital to showcase the alternative, joined up and sustainable transport option by a mixture of service and infrastructure improvements that will reduce congestion in cities and towns.
The funding will help local authorities to push sustainable travel through a different number of initiatives that include travel plans for employees and more support for bus services and strong promotion of walking and cycling. All these measures must be accompanied by true improvements in public transport like better service of buses in both urban and rural areas of Wales.