The Welsh Government has released an update on the progress of new transport plans across the country, with significant investment helping to deliver targets.
With the aims of delivering carbon reduction targets, over £1.6 billion worth of funding is being allocated to the development of regional transport plans for all parts of Wales, whilst working alongside local authorities and Transport for Wales.
Lee Waters, Deputy Climate Change Minister, said:
“We are all focused on building a new transport system that is high quality and sustainable.
“I want to make the right thing to do the easy thing to do and that means encouraging more people out of their cars to walk, cycle or use public transport.”
In North Wales, the focus has been on transforming rail, bus and active travel services, in a bid to not only reduce carbon emissions, but also to reduce rural isolation and increase employment and leisure opportunities.
Direct services between the region and Liverpool have been reinstated for the first time in generations, with this complimented by active travel routes that help to better connect locals to bus and train stations in Flintshire, Wrexham and Gwynedd. Plans are also being implemented to improve the connections to stations near Bangor, Flint, Holyhead, Llandudno Junction, Colwyn Bay, Shotton, Deeside, Wrexham, Rhyl and Prestatyn.
The main goal for the South Wales and Swansea Bay areas is to continue key work on the creation of an integrated transport network, as well as improvements to public transport an active travel in the short term. The latter, short-term, solutions are being utilised to support transport whilst the detailed development and design work for the integrated transport network take shape.
Two pilots are also being developed for Swansea Bay and the Haven Waterway, with the aim of introducing a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses by the middle of this decade, in a bid to further support the decarbonisation of Wales’ bus fleet.
In the South Wales region, there is also work being rapidly undertaken to deliver upgrades to the rail network, public transport hubs and active travel routes. This will see Cardiff receive a new multi-modal transport interchange in the heart of the city, with the aim of providing passengers a more enjoyable transport experience as well as a safer environment. This will be done through on-street bus stops, taxi, active travel provision and improved connections to Cardiff Bay.
A new Integrated Control Centre and train depot is also making good progress, following £100 million worth of investment. This will play a key role in increasing the number of services on certain lines as well as housing a new fleet of trams. This has already seen benefits for the community, however it is expected to increase with a plan for up to 95% of all rail passengers travelling on those services by 2025.
Bus services are also under review with local authorities and industry partners to provide a more effective transport network.