Congestion charge not enough; Cardiff car ban will free up bus routes and clean air, says MD
New Adventure Travel (NAT) Group Managing Director Adam Keen has criticised proposals for congestion charging in Cardiff City Centre, calling instead for a more effective car-free zone.
Such a ban would achieve a reduction in congestion “far more quickly and far more effectively”, than a congestion charge, Mr Keen explains in an open letter to Cardiff City Council.
Investigating what puts people off using buses in Cardiff as an alternative to cars, reliability was the biggest factor according to Mr Keen.
“We need to get cars out of Cardiff and enable buses to move more freely and thus, more reliably,” says Mr Keen. “Congestion charging will perhaps persuade some motorists not to enter Cardiff, but it’s a half-baked solution.”
Extra time has been required on some Cardiff bus routes to ensure reliable operation. This, he says, has resulted in a significant overall cost to operators such as NAT, such as in fuel and wages, without enhancing routes.
“More reliable buses equals more passengers, which in turn means more revenue for operators to invest in new routes, better networks and better travel solutions.”
Areas of central Cardiff have also been identified as having not met Clean Air Zone limits, further adding to the need for a car ban to address air quality issues, he explains.
Cardiff would follow York if such a decision was made, which is already underway with a consultation to ban cars from 2023.