A recent report by the Centre for Cities has highlighted the concerning levels of bus ridership in Wales, which is the second lowest in the UK. The report also identified that the bus network in Wales has experienced the greatest reduction in size. In order to address this issue and attract more passengers, the report suggests that bus lanes should be exempt from the new 20mph speed limit in Wales, where it is safe to do so.
The report emphasizes the need for substantial investment to improve the quality of public transport infrastructure in Wales. Currently, buses are not frequent, reliable, or quick enough to encourage people to choose them over cars. Paul Swinney, the director of policy and research at Centre for Cities, explains that in order to shift people away from cars towards buses, the convenience factor needs to be improved. Exempting buses from the 20mph speed limits would allow buses to move more quickly and reliably, thus making them a more attractive option for commuters.
The Welsh government has set a target of having 45% of all journeys in Wales made on public transport and active travel by 2040. However, achieving this goal will require significant investment, especially in rural areas where the figure is expected to be lower. Large-scale investment is necessary to provide viable alternatives to private cars and make public transport the convenient choice for commuters.
Passengers who regularly use buses have voiced their concerns about the reliability of the services. Many have experienced long waits or overcrowded buses, which deter them from using public transport. While some passengers believe that exempting buses from the 20mph speed limit would not make a difference, others think it could help alleviate congestion and improve overall service quality.
The Welsh government has stated that they are closely monitoring the impact of the 20mph limit on bus services and are working with bus operators, local authorities, and Transport for Wales to address the challenges faced by the industry.
In conclusion, the low levels of bus ridership in Wales and the reduction in the bus network size highlight the need for significant investment in public transport infrastructure. Exempting buses from the 20mph speed limits, where safe to do so, could be a step towards making buses a more attractive and convenient option for commuters, ultimately helping the Welsh government achieve its public transport targets.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Why does Wales have low levels of bus ridership?
Wales has low levels of bus ridership due to various factors including lack of convenience, infrequent and unreliable services, and the dominance of private car usage.
2. How can exempting buses from the 20mph speed limit help?
Exempting buses from the 20mph speed limit, where it is safe to do so, would allow buses to move more quickly and reliably, making them a more convenient option for commuters.
3. What is the Welsh government’s target for public transport usage?
The Welsh government aims to have 45% of all journeys in Wales made on public transport and active travel by 2040.
4. What challenges does the bus industry in Wales face?
The bus industry in Wales faces challenges such as low ridership, reduction in the bus network size, and the need for significant investment in public transport infrastructure.
5. How is the Welsh government addressing the challenges in the bus industry?
The Welsh government is closely monitoring the impact of the 20mph limit on bus services and is working with bus operators, local authorities, and Transport for Wales to tackle the challenges and improve the industry.