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Thursday, 26 July, 2001, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Assembly's public transport 'wish list'
train, Cardiff central
Assembly members want to get drivers out of their cars
The Welsh Assembly has outlined plans for a revamped public transport system to offer a real alternative to people using cars.

The environment, planning and transport committee is calling for major investment to encourage people to use trains and buses using private and government money.

Richard Edwards am
Richard Edwards wants more investment

"We need to drive up the quality of bus and rail services - so that they offer a reliable alternative to the car - and develop community transport, which has a lot to offer in delivering social inclusion," said committee chairman Richard Edwards.

But the report could be seen as something of a wish list due to lack of funds available to realise the plan.

"Our report calls for a visionary approach backed up with considerable resources - both public and private - to address historic levels of under investment in public transport," Mr Edwards added.

Published on Thursday, the consultation report is a 14-point road map to an integrated transport system for Wales and, if adopted, could reduced rates for young people and tram-like vehicles to Welsh streets.

Among the recommendations set down following the year-long study are:

  • Quality kite mark to set a standard for public transport in Wales

  • Extension of concessionary fares with the possibility of support for young people

  • Establishment of an all-Wales passenger group

  • Feasibility studies for second generation public transport which includes trans
  • School transport demonstration project to look at long term procurement of bespoke school buses.

    The document, which transport bodies across Wales have contributed to, calls on the assembly to plough "considerable resources" into alternative transport methods to combat what it calls "historic levels of under-investment."

    Quality standard

    Mr Edwards said: "We must raise the priority given to public transport, and integrated transport generally, and make sure that money is well targeted."

    "The perception of public transport is poor, and most people now use a car to get around.

    "We need to drive up the quality of bus and rail services so that they offer a reliable alternative to the car, and develop community transport..."

    "Looking to the longer term, a new organisational model needs to be designed to meet the needs of Wales, building on what works in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, but flexible enough to take account of different needs in different areas.

    "Suggested options are set out in our consultation report - I hope this stimulates the ongoing debate on public transport."

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