Lee Waters, Wales’ ‘no more roads’ man

This time Ned, Adam and Laura are talking about roads. Are they good, are they bad, and do we really need to take sides? In a week where the Prime Minister claimed there’s a ‘side’ where driving is concerned, we look to Wales, where they're taking perhaps a more balanced approach to transport. 

Lee Waters is Wales’ Deputy Minister for Climate Change. He works in a department that brings together society's most polluting sectors and seeks to reduce their carbon emissions, not least for the sake of future generations.

In February 2023, following a Roads Review, the Welsh Senedd announced it wouldn’t be investing in new roads unless they contribute to a modal shift towards public transport and/or active travel. While this announcement was spun as a 'ban' on all new roads, it in fact simply raised the bar for roadbuilding. Lee Waters talks to Streets Ahead about the thinking behind the move, the challenges, and why giving people clean transport options - and genuine alternatives to driving - is not a party political issue.

You can read more about Wales' roads review, and the report on the future of Welsh roadbuilding, here: https://www.gov.wales/future-road-investment-wales. As the chair of the roads review panel, Lyn Sloman, put it: "The challenge of our time is to achieve a prosperous economy and a fairer society whilst protecting and enhancing the environment, for our own well-being and that of future generations."

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Episode edited by Clare Mansell.

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