A ban on the use of private cars for commercial purposes among the 44 public sector bodies in Wales has been mooted by the Urban Mobility Partnership (UMP).
The organisation, which is helping to shape a multi-modal national transport policy that aims to reduce congestion and improve air quality, believes by using lease cars and so-called “car clubs” the Welsh public sector could reduce the carbon emissions linked to its journeys by more than two-fifths (42%).
Following a recent Freedom of Information request, the UMP revealed that by banning the use of grey fleets among Wales’ public bodies it would save as much as £2.8 million a year for the country’s four biggest local authorities – Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Plans were afoot for the UMP to brief Welsh ministers and government officials on their findings at an exclusive summit.
The UMP believes another way to incentivise the use of cleaner transport within the Welsh public sector is to launch “mobility credits” that employees could use on trains and buses, as well as daily car and bike hire.
These credits would work by encouraging employees to trade in their older, inefficient vehicles in exchange for mobility credits that would be worth more than the market value of the vehicles, to use on cleaner, more efficient modes of transport.
This approach is already being trialled in England with Enterprise and Stagecoach overseeing the trial in Manchester, incentivising Manchester Airport Group staff to travel to and from the airport using mobility credits.
Ben Lawson of the UMP and vice president of Strategy for UK and Ireland at Enterprise Holdings, said: “Enterprise established the Urban Mobility Partnership with key transport partners to look at multi-modal solutions that can be implemented in the short and medium term to improve air quality and reduce congestion [on Britain’s roads].
“Working with national government and local authorities we are developing collaborative policy solutions.
“The partnership represents all modes of transport and we have a ready built mobility as a service proposition that can be implemented almost immediately.
“This would be a concrete step that the Welsh Government could take as part of its Clean Air Plan to help drive modal shift which will lower congestion and improve air quality.
“We’re looking forward to discussing with ministers how we can help Wales make these proposals a reality.”