Regional transport plan for south west Wales submitted to Welsh Government
Lewis Smith – Local Democracy Reporter
Councillors across four regions of south west Wales have come together this week to discuss the submission of a Regional Transport Implementation Plan, which will decide transport across the area in the coming years.
Members from councils in Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Camarthenshire and Pembrokeshire all met on October 24, to discuss the submission of the document to the Welsh government, highlighting a number of goals and priorities it will look to take forward with regards to transport.
The aim of the Regional Transport Plan is to, “Develop a Regional Transport Plan for south west Wales which sets out a plan for transport in the region that supports economic growth, encourages modal shift away from private car use, and reduces the negative environmental impact of our transport network.”
It will first require an implementation plan to be submitted by the Corporate Joint Committee for South West Wales, which compliments Wales’ Transport Strategy, and shows the group’s vision along with how they will deliver it.
The final submission of the plan is now expected for March of 2025, to replace the existing Joint Transport Plan for 2015-2020. The report also listed steps that will have to be taken, such as identifying the transport aspirations for the region and oversight arrangements, as well as consulting with members of the public and stakeholders.
It also outlined a number of risks that would be involved with the process, with with what was described as challenging time-scales and available resources and funding on offer.
Councillor Darren Price, leader of Camarthenshire County Council said it would now be important to find out what level of funding they would receive from Welsh Government as they moved forward.
He said: “I think we’d all agree that we want to see public transport in south west Wales develop and go to the next level, but we need to be realistic in terms of what level of funding we’re likely to get over the medium term because that will certainly shape the strategy over the next few years.”
At the meeting it was also noted that the committee, which was set up in January of 2022, is currently reported as having a projected underspend of £328,878 on their annual budget, out of a total budget of £617,753.
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