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Battle to defeat rush-hour congestion in Wales

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A project is underway in South Wales to cut the amount of short car journeys that motorists make each day.

Around 63,000 homes in Cardiff and Penarth will be offered personalised travel advice in an effort to reduce the amount of motorists who use the car for school runs or short commutes.

The £4m four-year scheme from the Welsh Government and transport charity Sustrans Cymru will eventually extend to Barry, Caerphilly and Pontypridd.

The scheme intends to encourage the use of public transport, cycling, and walking as alternatives, stating that not using the car for even one day could make all the difference.

The launch of the scheme has been timed to coincide with the start of the autumn school term, which has led to a surge in rush-hour traffic across Wales.

According to Sustrans Cymru, one in five cars on the road at 8.50am is doing the school run. 

Director of the charity, Lee Waters, said, “Given the right information about alternative ways to travel, more people could leave their cars at home. We'll work with people at school, work and home, helping them to make changes to their daily travel choices when and where it suits them.”

Sustrans Cymru hopes eventually the scheme will be rolled to reach more than 100,000 homes across Wales, along with workplaces and schools.

Local Government and Communities Minister Carl Sargeant said: "We are fully committed to delivering a truly sustainable transport system across Wales and by providing people with realistic and enjoyable alternatives to the car we can change people's attitudes towards transport".

He continued that the benefits of using sustainable transport would be wide-ranging, from enjoying healthy exercise and reducing congestion, to helping towards rising motoring fees.

Sustrans said they have already seen great results in similar projects around the UK, typically cutting car trips by up to 10%.

By Ben Malkin

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