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 Sustrans

Evidence from Sustrans

About you



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

Sustrans welcome Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales, the commitment to reduce Wales’ current over reliance on the motor vehicle is something Sustrans has been calling for many years. Sustrans welcome the commitment to creating an integrated public transport system however this system needs to be clean, accessible and affordable in order to become a more prominent for of daily transport. The targets of which Welsh Government have set out in the document are ambitious, and essential to the economy, health and wellbeing of the nation, this plan in hand with the recent amendments to Planning Policy Wales Edition: 10 which focuses on a sustainable transport hierarchy and holds placemaking as its core value show that Welsh Government is serious about tackling climate change.

Something that is missing from the plan is a commitment to how Welsh Government are going to fund their ambitions. Over the last year Welsh Government have made improvements to Active Travel funding with the welcomed announcement of an extra £60 million capital funding over three years. Although this is an improvement (funding rose from £4 per person per year, to £10 per person per year) Sustrans Cymru believe that without the minimum investment of £20 per person per year, we will not see the step change that is needed for people to make that modal shift out of the car and onto more sustainable modes of transport. Welsh Government must ensure that funds are allocated to ensure that the Active Travel investment is ambitious and guarantees long-term funding. This funding needs to be both in the form of revenue and capital funding, and should be set out as the IWA outline in their Re-energising Wales: Decarbonising transport in Wales report as an Active Travel Action Plan which Welsh Government should co-produce with local authorities, Regional Transport Authorities, representatives from national and local walking and cycling groups and Public Health Wales The Active Travel Action Plan should extend over two carbon budgeting cycles with evidence based targets and milestones in place for each five year cycle. The targets should at least match the ambition shown by Scotland. The plan should be in place for the start of the next cycle in 2020. The plan should also consider the potential for promoting electric bikes in Wales.

6 years after the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 became law, the numbers of people walking and cycling to work or for other essential journeys are static, and in the case of children travelling to school, have reduced. Sustrans Cymru maintains that the level of Welsh Government support for behaviour change programmes is insufficient.

Although Welsh Government Sustrans Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government to deliver our Active Journeys programme which works with schools across Wales to create a culture that makes it easier for children to walk, scoot or cycle. We provide graduated interventions that help to build the skills, confidence and awareness that make active travel for everyday journeys a reality. Our work typically increases the levels of active travel by 9% after one year of engagement. Whilst we are proud of the impact this programme is having, we are conscious that we are engaging just 8% of schools in Wales. Further, with the end of our Cymru Active Travel Challenge project (focused on workplaces) there is no Welsh Government funded workplaces programme in Wales. This is despite Welsh Government’s national strategy Prosperity for All stating a commitment to work with and support the business community to improve the health and well-being of workers and help people to remain in employment. Welsh Government need to make revenue funding available for these such activities

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


To enable people to travel more sustainably we need to ensure that people are able to easily make multi-modal journeys. This means that all bus interchanges and train stations are easily accessible by foot and by cycle.

Safe, convenient and direct routes should be provided. Particular consideration should be given to the last mile which is often the most difficult part of any journey to a station by cycle or on foot.


Walking and cycling routes within and outside principle transport stations should be clearly signed and should be linked up to pre-existing walking and cycling infrastructure in the area.

Principle public transport stations should be attractive places to arrive in as well as be accessible from all sides. For example in Leeds Station they have opened a southern entrance, this is a landmark structure which relieves congestion to the existing northern entrance. They have introduced a future proof ticket gate line capacity and encourage growth in the south of the city by improving pedestrian access.


Ticketing should be integrated and allow users to make journeys which are multi modal and across different operators with one streamlined ticket and payment service. Standardised smart ticketing and payment services should operate across the UK and encourage people to make multi-modal journeys by offering a discount to people using a combination of public transport, this should include integrated ticketing for cycle share schemes.

Sustrans thinks that every person travelling is entitled to safe cycle storage at all rail and bus stations.


Although over the last few years there have been improvements, there still needs to be an increase in the quality and quantity of cycle storage at stations.


Sustrans thinks that principal public transport stations should act as active travel hubs making it easier for commuters, locals and visitors to get active. This should include;

·         Cycle share schemes linking primary locations across an urban setting. 

·         Secure, weather protected cycle parking, this should be signposted and conveniently located, ideally as close to station entrances as possible.

·         Cycle repairs and other cycle services.


Provision for secure cycle parking should also be provided across all smaller rail and bus stations to help with integrated journeys. For example a new innovation in the TACTRAN area of Scotland, are providing bike shelters near bus stops so that people in slightly more rural areas can cycle to the bus stop and continue their journey on public transport.


Sustrans recognise that for some journeys, being able to carry a cycle on public transport can make sustainable travel a more viable option.

In regards to rail, it is clear that there needs to be an improvement in provision when it comes to adequate space which is easy and convenient to secure cycles on trains.


Cycle storage on trains needs to be as flexible as possible. For example having rolling stock that has flip down seats to accommodate commuters during peak, and prams and cycles off peak.


Cycle storage needs to be easy to identify from the platform, and it should be easy to load and unload cycles and other large items.


For services where booking a bike space in advance is required, there should be a single, standardised, online system for all operators. Currently, bookings can be done via website (GWR), phone (LNER, East Mids, Virgin), Facebook (CrossCountry), and confirmation can comprise a screenshot of a Facebook message.


This would be beneficial for passengers, and also for station staff who can sometimes struggle to book bikes onto trains run by certain operators.


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



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




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