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Welsh torpedo

Rhodri Clark’s article Has Wales Torpedoed its Transport Strategy? in December’s Buses was an excellent analysis of much of what is wrong with transport in Wales, but it failed to state just how grim the future seems to be.

I look at things largely from the point of view of a resident of Wales’ largest city, Cardiff, and as someone who owns a car but would prefer to walk or bus around my local area. The required objective, from my point of view and from that of everyone I talk to, is that bus services must improve so they provide a satisfactory substitute to travel by car.

In my experience, the opposite is happening, with bus services getting worse and car use increasing. This is a “chicken and egg” situation with greater car use increasing congestion and slowing down buses, making buses increasingly unattractive and causing more people to use their cars. This is a case where simply depending on the market will not solve the problem and will result instead in an increasing downward spiral. Government and local authority intervention is essential to halt this.

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