Wales Climate Week Reflections: Taking a whole-community approach to developing locally tailored transport solutions
by Gemma Lelliott
Director for Wales
In early December, I had the honour of joining the Welsh Government in hosting a session for Wales Climate Week 2023. This virtual conference spanned five days, from December 4th to 8th, coinciding with COP28. Throughout the week, over 4,400 viewers tuned into 28 sessions, led by 30 chairs and featuring 95 speakers who delved into the question: “How do we tackle climate change in a fair way?”
My session, titled ‘Taking a Whole-Community Approach to Developing Locally Tailored Transport Solutions’, involved interviewing one of CTA’s most innovative community-led members, Partneriaeth Ogwen. Across Wales, communities are leading the development of sustainable transport services that cater to the needs of local residents. I spoke with Huw Davies about Partneriaeth Ogwen’s successful approach in Bethesda, Gwynedd.
Established a decade ago, Partneriaeth Ogwen is an award-winning social enterprise dedicated to the economy, environment, and communities of Dyffryn Ogwen. They develop projects that contribute to a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable community. Their approach, known as ‘Asset-Based Community Development’, leverages community strengths and addresses gaps to enhance participation in meaningful activities. Their initiatives include demand-responsive transport, food deliveries, e-bike hire, community gardens, renewable energy generation, and more!
Huw and I discussed Partneriaeth Ogwen’s method of community engagement as they devise new transport schemes. Huw emphasised that consultation is central to their operations in such a close-knit community. Addressing transport poverty, digital exclusion, and rural isolation is crucial for the area, and ongoing dialogues with residents and partners have enabled them to connect broadly, build on their successes, and adapt services to better meet people’s needs in real time. Partneriaeth Ogwen views their role as one of facilitation and empowerment, co-producing services in partnership with the community.
Huw and the Partneriaeth Ogwen team are deeply committed to ensuring that no one in their community is left behind—a sentiment echoed by Community Transport operators across the country. As the mainstream bus network contracts and services are withdrawn, CTA members are stepping in to provide sustainable and inclusive transport options to as many people as possible.
To watch the full interview, click here (scroll down to find our session). For information on other events that happened throughout Wales Climate Week 2023, visit this link.
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.