Thursday, 16 July 2009

Transport decisions are good for the environment

Yesterday marked the first time in history that Plaid Cymru has been responsible for deciding the future direction of transport in Wales.

Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, who amongst other responsibilities deals with transport at the Welsh Government, announced an all-Wales plan which will be in place long after the current Government leaves office. The plan has been broadly welcomed by environmental groups as it shifts Welsh policy away from road-building and towards public transport. At the same time, the existing road network in Wales will see significant safety improvements. This is good news for young people, because we need to be safe when we drive but also need access to quality public transport.

Cymru X members will be quick to welcome Ieuan's plans for transport in Wales, which see the dreaded M4 Relief Road being dropped on both economic and environmental grounds. The CBI and right-wing MP's such as John Smith are inevitably disappointed that large-scale road building will not be taking place, but they should recognise that traditional economic growth is unsustainable. It's true that we still need to use cars and that we need good roads, but a vision for the future needs to look at how our transport is affecting the planet. It needs to be long-term rather than based on what's best for the market in the short run.

The CBI wants a commitment from the Welsh Government to deliver "large-scale infrastructure projects". This is a redundant line of thinking in the age of climate crisis. Large-scale infrastructure projects are inevitably designed to serve the market rather than the environment, and interests based outside of Wales rather than our own communities. The future will be decentralised, in terms of local transport, energy production and other infrastructure. This is why projects such as the Severn Barrage also have to be thrown out.

It is very encouraging that the principles of sustainability that Cymru X supports have been taken into account and taken on board by the Plaid Minister. Plaid Cymru in government has delivered the greenest transport plan Wales has ever had- which is exactly what we expected.


Anonymous said...

We all know that Global Warming is happening, and of course, Carbon emissions arent entirely to blame, but they do contribute hugely to Global Warming. We do need to cut our emissions, because we need to do our bit to try and reduce or prevent any further Global Warming, as we can already see the devastating effects it's having on this earth, Tsunamis, extreme weather conditions, hurricanes (or is that all the norm these days?)
Even if in the past there has been a case of Global Warming such as there is now, we need to look at the way people lived back then, and how we live today, it is completely different. We are very much to blame, and we all need to do our bit to tackle the problem that is Climate Change.

Illtyd Luke said...

With regards to roads and the M4, it can be a bottleneck and I happen to drive along it quite often. There are problems for traffic, logistics and goods.

However, have we all been plunged into poverty because of a bottleneck near Newport? Not really.

Does a delayed journey every so often mean we should destroy the environment with a new road? Not at all.