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Last Updated: Friday, 11 April, 2003, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Traffic 'tsar' takes to his bike
Gerwyn Jones
Gerwyn Jones: Leading by example
Traffic 'tsar' Gerwyn Jones is getting on his bike to persuade people to take part in reducing traffic congestion in towns in mid Wales.

Mr Jones, recently appointed Travel Plan Co-ordinator for the area covering Powys, Ceredigion and Meirionnydd, wants to set up a travel plan for the area.

He aims to get more people to walk, cycle, use public transport and share their cars in a move to reduce increasing traffic congestion in mid-Wales.

Mr Jones said the travel plan was a series of measures aimed at reducing the need to travel, the impact of journeys and providing more transport choice.

The main objective is to reduce the dependency on the single occupied car
Gerwyn Jones

As well as reducing traffic congestion in the area's major towns - including Aberystwyth, Brecon and Newtown - the plan also promotes a healthier lifestyle and will help the environment.

'Win the argument'

"The main objective is to reduce the dependency on the single occupied car," said Gerwyn.

"It would also go a long way to improve the car parking problems we are increasingly seeing in many of the region's towns," he added.

Mr Jones aims to do this by contacting organisations, businesses and schools across mid Wales to raise the profile of alternative ways of travelling from A to B.

"We need to encourage people to take advantage of projects such as the park and ride scheme in Aberystwyth," he said.

"We need to win the argument that there is a better way for people to travel than using the car," said Mr Jones, himself a keen cyclist.

Aberystwyth traffic
Congestion is increasing in towns in mid Wales

One measure he wants to set up is the creation of a car-sharing database for people to sign up to.

"For this plan to work, employers with large workforces will have to come on board to make it easier for people to share car journeys," he added.

Travel culture

"Providing more subsidised bus services may not be the way forward in this rural area because changes in employees' shifts can't be met. This means that more innovative solutions are needed."

Another problem plaguing mid Wales towns is the danger to pupils' safety caused by the school run, he said.

Mr Jones will liaise with cycle and road safety officers so that primary and secondary school children will be given advice on how to get to and from school in a safe way such as walking or cycling.

Its about changing travel culture
Gerwyn Jones

But the people of mid Wales need to support schemes that will be set up to improve traffic congestion and parking problems, he claims.

"Its about changing travel culture. People often complain about traffic issues. The difficulty is to get people to make personal choices to ease these problem."

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