PLAID Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones gave a flavour of some of the sustainable travel policies that a Plaid Cymru Welsh Government would introduce if elected in May during a virtual hustings.
The Mid and West MS represented Plaid Cymru in a virtual hustings this week organised by Sustrans Cymru, the walking and cycling charity.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS said:
“We need to get Wales moving when it comes to sustainable travel. In Plaid Cymru’s Rebuild Wales policy document launched over the weekend by our party leader Adam Price we promised an uplift in the investment for Welsh active travel.
“Plaid Cymru welcomes the call from Sustrans for a rise in the transport budget for active travel. This will mean we can start to catch up with other countries like the Netherlands where 27% of all journeys are being made by bikes.
“The Senedd’s Cross-Party Group on Active Travel recommended the need to enhance our children’s health and well-being by providing more support for active travel for schools and for cycle training. Work is ongoing on reforms to school transport, and there is a need to examine the issue of catchment areas.
“A Plaid Cymru Welsh Government would want to help local authorities create towns and cities that put people first by making 20-minute neighbourhoods a central principle in local planning, transport, health and economic policy.
“We do believe that we should design our communities to make cycling and walking more attractive to everyone. My colleague Rhondda Plaid Cymru MS Leanne Wood has worked with Sustrans to publish a report on improving cycling infrastructure in the Rhondda. A public meeting was also organised which was attended by a mixture of cyclists, walkers and horse riders united in the goal of creating safe, car-free routes.
“We can reuse old rail lines, tunnels and other redundant transport infrastructure as cycle routes or footways. In my own region there is a demand for this, over 1,000 of my constituents in Pontyberem have signed a petition calling for the creation of the Gwendraeth Valley Cycle Track on the old Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway line that stretched for 21 miles across Carmarthenshire.”
“Plaid Cymru has long advocated a Clean Air Act and in the Senedd our members have backed 20mph zones in urban areas so these asks from Sustrans are very welcome.”