Transform Cymru – a sustainable transport vision for a post-lockdown Wales
by Christine Boston
Director for Wales and UK lead for research and policy campaigns
Today, CTA have joined with a range of organisations in Wales, united in a vision for a transport network that is sustainable, accessible and safe with access and inclusion built in from the beginning.
The Transform Cymru Coalition brings together organisations across Wales that promote sustainable transport for all. Transform Cymru promotes a vision where communities across Wales are connected through a sustainable, affordable, inclusive and safe transport network which meets the needs of all passengers regardless of age, background or ability.
All members of the coalition are committed to working with Welsh Government, Transport for Wales and Local Authorities to make this a reality for the people of Wales. In order to achieve this vision, Transform Cymru has put together a report that looks at seven steps to improve transport for everyone in Wales.
At CTA, we know that many people across Wales face barriers to accessing transport. 80% of Wales is rural and public transport services in these areas are often minimal. Even in the main urban centres, older people or those with disabilities can find it difficult to reach stations or stops or board the vehicle when it arrives. The community transport sector specialises in the provision of accessible transport with the majority of services delivered through wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Across the community transport sector, our members deliver transport in the community for those who need it most. Local transport solutions have been developed in response to local needs in many communities across Wales and the sector is expert at developing bespoke solutions that ensure people can access jobs, services and local facilities.
We joined this group because we believe in the value of partnership that celebrates public transport, sustainability and access. The vision of the group is for communities across Wales to be connected through a sustainable, affordable, inclusive and safe transport network which meets the needs of all passengers.
With the impact of the current public health crisis, we believe that it is even more important to join together to call for a reset of Welsh transport in order to ensure no-one is isolated or excluded now or in the future.
In terms of what we want to change, the fundamental principle is that public transport should be accessible and inclusive with communities empowered to shape and create their own transport solutions.
Our Connecting Communities in Wales project funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and Welsh Government) has shown what can be achieved through championing community transport with many organisations supported to develop new, demand-responsive transport solutions through a range of vehicles from minibuses to mopeds.
In these challenging times, it’s hard to imagine a rise in shared transport models but we believe that things will change again and in the future, people will be travelling in vehicles they don’t own, with people they don’t know at first. We need to be ready to embrace the opportunities ahead of us.
As this is a partnership initiative, it isn’t just about community transport but it is about the possibilities and the future transport network that we want to be part of. It is time for us all to work together to create a Wales where everyone is connected through a diverse and inclusive public transport network.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.