Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

First Minister rules out Ulez-style congestion charging in Wales, except as last resort

26 Sep 2023 2 minute read
An Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) camera. Photo Yui Mok/PA Wire

Road congestion charging would be the last resort in Wales if other measures to improve air quality are unsuccessful, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford said the Environment (Air Quality and Soundscapes) (Wales) Bill would give the Welsh Government greater ability to tackle air and noise pollution.

The use of clean air zones – like the controversial ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) in London – are included in the Bill but only as a last resort.

Public health issue

“We know it is a public health issue, we know that there are thousands of people whose lives might be shortened if the air that they breathe is not of the quality that we would like it to be,” he told the Senedd.

“The Bill sets out a whole series of ways in which we will aim to improve air quality here in Wales.

“It has, as a residual and fallback position, powers that could in the future lead to road charging – if all those other things do not work.

“But the point of the Bill is to make those other things work.

“Those other things that the Bill focuses on and those are the measures that we will be focusing on as a Government.”

Mr Drakeford was answering a question from Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies.

The Bill would allow the Welsh Government to introduce new long-term targets for air quality under a national framework and give local authorities more power to tackle vehicle idling.

It also proposes a progressive obligation on the Welsh Government to introduce a national soundscapes strategy, which would be a UK first.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
6 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Silenced!
Silenced!
5 months ago

…. waiting for ARTy Davies to lie that we are getting enforced ULEZ across Cymru and point those horrible pork sausages on his hands and turning purple as he does so

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
5 months ago
Reply to  Silenced!

You can be sure that any headline containing both ‘First Minister’ and ‘ULEZ’ will be seized upon by the fake news world of the ART Hill Mob. We can once again expect another bogus half million petition over something that is not happening. I hear people complain the government is not being held to account. Well, it won’t be as long as the sixteen Tories who were given the opportunity to do just that insult their voters by devoting their time to an alternative truth agenda.

Jeff
Jeff
5 months ago

ARTD imploding in 3… 2 ….. 1….

Llyn
Llyn
5 months ago

With Bristol having what the Conservative party in Wales would call a “blanket” 20mph speed limit and being a ULEZ style low emissions zone I wonder how many businesses have collapsed and hotels closed because of a massive hit to tourism? From the warnings of the Welsh Conservative Party on these issues the City must be a basket case of poverty and dispare?

Llyn
Llyn
5 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

‘despair’ even!

max wallis
max wallis
5 months ago

It’s false to call a Clean Air Zone “congestion charging”. ULEZ covers a huge area, while vehicles meeting quite loose (old) emission levels travel free. Congestion charges catches all vehicles, perhaps at more congested times. The Clean Air Zone proposed in Cardiff was to cover a tiny area – the ~1km wide city centre. It would have forced taxis to go clean. Commuters and shop-staff could park on the edge of the city core and walk in. Cardiff Bus would have used its new electric buses or subsidised retrofitted buses to run services through the centre. It was quick and… Read more »

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.