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Welsh follows Scots lead on traffic demand management, but also lacks clear path towards delivery

Published 21 July 2022 by Transform Scotland

Transform’s policy officer Marie Ferdelman comments upon the Welsh Government’s draft ‘National transport delivery plan: 2022 to 2027‘:

“Traffic reduction through demand management is now on the political agenda in Scotland and in Wales. The Welsh Government has just published its National Transport Delivery Plan 2022, which features car demand management.

“Wales has followed Scotland’s lead to start considering pricing tools to reduce the use of private cars as part of its National Transport Delivery Plan. There are a lot of similarities between the policies that the Scottish and Welsh governments are considering, with road pricing, workplace parking levies and road space reallocation featuring in the strategies of both nations. While Scotland has committed to preparing a car demand management framework, Wales has committed to a more specific road pricing framework. But while the 2025 deadline for the delivery of the Scottish framework is arguably too late, the Welsh government has not provided any detail on when their road pricing framework can be expected.

“A very positive aspect of the Welsh plan is the clear link between the introduction of any pricing tool and public transport and active travel improvements. The Plan outlines an intention of  “looking at ways to improve services before charges or introduce lower fares when charging starts”. This ‘benefits and charges packages’ approach, will be a useful tool for gaining support for any of these measures and could mitigate the impact of the charges. The Scottish Government and Scottish local authorities that are considering introducing their own demand management interventions should take note and consider a similar approach.

“What the Scottish and Welsh plans are both lacking though is a clear path towards delivery. The intentions are good and it is encouraging to see car demand management being seriously discussed. But without a clear strategy of when and how measures will be introduced, there is a danger that momentum will be lost.”