Cardiff Council has announced plans for a cleaner, greener, more modern public transport system. The proposals include an expanded bus service with cheaper £1 fares, a new tram network and enhanced regional transport links.
In order to achieve these ambitions, Cardiff Council’s cabinet are exploring ways a low-cost Road User Payment (RUP) might be reinvested to build a more efficient transport system that could reduce air pollution, help Cardiff hit its climate change targets, and tackle congestion.
Any Road User Payment won’t happen for several years. The Council will consult extensively with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to ensure that the right scheme for Cardiff is developed. Once these proposals are out to consultation, I would strongly encourage residents in Cardiff Central to share their views on how our city’s transport network should work.
It is recommended that key transport improvements should be up and running in advance of any payment being introduced.
Currently, road transport is responsible for 40% of carbon emissions in Cardiff and our city is ranked the worst for air-quality emissions amongst the eleven UK core cities. Air pollution has significant impacts on the health of us all, its associated with numerous health conditions and reducing life expectancy.
Ensuring we have a cleaner, greener city means improving our current transport system and public transport options. Whether that is electric buses and taxis, new train and tram links improving travel across the city and the region, improved routes for walking and cycling as well as better maintained roads.
The report brought to Cardiff Council’s Cabinet warns that without the introduction of a ring-fenced road user payment – it’s unlikely Cardiff will ever get the transport system it ‘desperately needs’. Once any scheme is introduced, the money raised – alongside Government funding contributions -could then help bring forward the following initiatives.
- A Metro city-wide tram system including Crossrail (in city area) and Circle line, new stations with a minimum of 4 trams an hour.
- A prioritised bus network across the city with reliable turn up and go services – targeting a 100% increase in bus passengers.
- Delivery of an electric (EV) Bus and Taxi fleet.
- Support for the development of wider regional commuter/shopper Metro and Bus network.
- The completion of the Eastern Bay Link, which in conjunction with enhancements to the city centre highway network would enable better traffic flow around the wider city circumference.
- Sustainable travel incentives – Travel discounts, tickets, bike purchase vouchers.
Any payment introduced would have to be fair, ensuring that the very moderate financial burden falls only on those who can afford it. There would also be consideration of any local users that may need to be exempt, reimbursed, or qualify for discounts.
Cardiff Council will consider the report and if it is agreed, stakeholder engagement will begin from April/May 2023 with a public consultation undertaken later in 2023.