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Decarbonising rural transport

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

In my role as Shadow Transport Minister, I closed my first Westminster Hall debate for the Labour Party this week.

The topic was on decarbonising rural transport, an issue which is important in the Wakefield constituency as well as in my brief. One of the key ways to decarbonise transport is encouraging the shift from car to bus, but in our rural villages, bus services are often unreliable and infrequent.

As I mentioned in the debate, one of our villages only has a bus into Wakefield three times a day and another only runs until 5pm. With no alternative public transport, they are becoming what the CPRE charity is calling “transport deserts”.

That’s why the Government should look seriously at Labour’s plans for franchising our bus network to hand control to local communities. And we must also look at road safety to encourage more walking and cycling for those who can. It is a shame that after nineteen months, the Government still haven’t responded to its own consultation on street safety, and only a quarter of councils have implemented Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.

We know that rural communities want to play their part in the clean transport revolution. So, the Government must urgently step up, otherwise our rural villages and towns will suffer the most.


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