Road pricing and Clean Air Zones under review in Clean Air Plan for Wales
Measures including road pricing and Clean Air Zones are being considered by the Welsh Government under a Clean Air Plan intended to act as a stepping stone to a new Clean Air Act.
Out for consultation until 10 March 2020, the plans seek views on existing commitments and propose a new range of actions and commitments.
These include investigating measures aimed at reducing personal vehicle use, exploring the potential to align the opportunities presented by Low Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones with wider transport policy initiatives in Wales. Under consideration is the introduction of Clean Air Zones with potential access restrictions for certain vehicles in urban areas, toll roads, reviewing the feasibility of schemes to incentivise the scrappage of the most polluting vehicles with credits for public transport, and a review of the effectiveness of anti-idling legislation.
The Government is also working on a proposal for all new cars and light goods vehicles in the public sector fleet to be ultra-low emission by 2025 and, “where practicably possible”, all heavy goods to be ultra-low emission by 2030.
The consultation also explores increasing the proportion of vehicles which are electric and ultra-low emission. It’s already investing £2m by 2020 to help create a network of rapid charging points, and developing an electric vehicle charging strategy to inform wider investment.
The Government is also working on ways to progress the work of reforming the provision of taxi and private hire vehicles. This will include the key themes of how to achieve air quality improvements as well as the decarbonisation of the fleet to meet its aim for a zero tailpipe emission taxi fleet by 2028.
Other measures include increasing air quality monitoring outside areas such as schools and hospitals and investing an additional £60m over three years to implement the Active Travel Act.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “Everyone in Wales should be able to breathe healthy air, access healthy and protected natural resources and enjoy sustainable and clean economic growth. The Clean Air Plan for Wales: Healthy Air, Healthy Wales provides a national framework within which all areas of society can work together towards these objectives.”
For further details on the consultation and to submit a response, click here.