Wales Transport Plan reflects growing consensus on climate change - Mick Bates AM

July 16, 2009 9:44 AM

Commenting on the Assembly Government Transport Plan, Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates has welcomed the emphasis in the plan on a more sustainable and less carbon-intensive transport system, which he believes reflects the growing recognition that tackling climate change will require a significant modal shift and more investment in a public transport system fit for the 21st century. Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Mick stated: "I am pleased that the Wales Transport Plan clearly recognises the need to put sustainable development at the heart of all of our actions, which reflects the growing recognition that tackling climate change does not mean more of the same, but will require a significant modal shift and more investment in a public transport system fit for the 21st century. "Building huge new roads is not the answer to decreasing congestion as it will only encourage increased car use, creating even wider congestion problems and drawing resources from more sustainable investments. Improving public transport must be the priority, with road improvements only where there are significant road safety and community safety demands. "I understand the disappointment of people who believe that new roads are needed to increase economic investment, but this must be balanced by a lack of a good economic and environmental case for such routes. Building more and more new roads will only further increase carbon emissions from transport, as well as have significant side effects such as damage to our environment and increased flood risk from more surface water run off. "The Transport Plan is a welcome reflection of the recent decision on the Westbury bypass in England, which was refused permission by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Transport on the grounds of it being unsustainable, resulting in increased carbon emissions and damage to the landscape. This is despite the fact that it wouldn't damage any nationally or internationally important sites and is the first time that a road proposal has been thrown out on the grounds of climate change and sustainability. "Road transport currently accounts for around 12% of greenhouse gas emissions so it is crucial that we look to more sustainable options. Action to improve our local and national public transport networks and encourage a modal shift to get people out of their cars is vital if we are to build a modern infrastructure fit for the future."

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