Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

National Assembly for Wales

Pwyllgor yr Economi, Seilwaith a Sgiliau

Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee

Ddatgarboneiddio trafnidiaeth

Decarbonisation of Transport


Ymateb gan Mineral Products Association/MPA Wales

Evidence from Mineral Products Association/MPA Wales

About you

Mineral Products Association/MPA Wales


Your opinion  

1.        Are the transport emissions reductions targets, policies and proposals (set out in Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales) achievable and sufficiently ambitious?


1.1   Please outline your reasons for your answer to question 1

The various parts of the strategy outlined in Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales are comprehensive and ambitious. They are achievable, but not necessarily easy to do so, so we would consider them to be sensible, stretching targets. Changing the trend line on transport emissions is ambitious, given the tendency for efficiency gains to be cancelled out by greater distance.

It is particularly welcome that the challenge of zero-emission HGVs is caveated with “where possible” in proposal four. While it is a proposal for public sector vehicles, the

approach is correct and is a welcome signal for private operators of heavy and specialist vehicles.

It is too early to say with certainty when zero-emission HGVs will be available and come to be the norm in the market. There is no value in a target that cannot be achieved because vehicles are not available, so it is better to revisit this in future years as the vehicles develop and the market evolves.

HGV fleets require some time to turn over, and it is important to bear in mind when reviewing this policy in the future that there needs to be sufficient time for an investment cycle between ultra-low emission HGVs coming onto the market and becoming the only models allowed. Encouraging businesses, through incentives, to switch earlier than they otherwise would is probably where Government can have its greatest impact

2.        Is the Welsh Government’s vision for the decarbonisation of transport sufficiently innovative, particularly in terms of advocating new technologies?



2.1   Please outline your reasons for your answer to question 2


There is a balance to be struck between being innovative and being achievable and the strategy does this well. Many of the earlier priorities do not require innovation but are still challenging, e.g. the behaviour changes around active travel.


This balance minimises the risk of creating unnecessary complexities for companies that operate across the border with England, or across the whole of the UK. Avoiding regulatory or other actions that would make using vehicles in different parts of the UK more difficult would be an unnecessary barrier to businesses operating in Wales.


Advocating for specific technologies is difficult for Governments to do, but support for infrastructure and making suitable regulatory changes is helpful at the point at which technologies break through.


For the HGV and specialist vehicle market, this is even more the case than for cars and vans.  Manufacturers tend to respond to incentives at EU level more than at UK-wide or devolved level, restricting the impact the Welsh Government can usefully have. Ensuring the infrastructure is in place, for example if hydrogen emerges as the ultra-low emission HGV fuel of choice, is where the Welsh Government could make a real impact


3.        What action is required, and by whom, to achieve the targets, policies and objectives?


All tiers of Government will be required to work patiently to deliver the various elements of the strategy, from local councils to Welsh government. Given the prominence of active travel, engaging and involving individuals and communities will also be important. Market-shaping actions to bring on new technology are best done at EU and Westminster level.


MPA members typically use heavy and specialist vehicles, so decarbonisation of fleet will rely on availability of those vehicles. All businesses will have to play their part, from encouraging and enabling their employees to make appropriate choices or in managing their own fleets. Government can support businesses through incentives and supportive guidance and, in some cases, regulation


4. How should the new Wales Transport Strategy reflect the actions needed to decarbonise transport?


We welcome the pragmatic approach taken in Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales with its focus on what can be decarbonised now and in the foreseeable future. We would recommend revisiting harder-to-decarbonise parts of the transport mix in future iterations of the strategy


5. Do you have any other points you wish to raise within the scope of this inquiry?