Watch: ‘It’s like a country lane!’ Business expert slams Wales’ transport infrastructure
Wales’ north-south roads are “like a country lane” and the nation needs a proper integrated transport policy to prosper, a business lecturer has said.
Brian Jones who is an expert in Management and Organisational Development at Bangor University took aim at Wales’ roads, trains and air links.
Speaking on a discussion about Wales on the YouTube channel Independence Live, he said that the “dragon has no spine”.
“There is something about doing something about the infrastructure,” he said. “We’ve got – typically – an airport in Cardiff and a railway that runs around its perimeter so there is no terminal.
“The M4 goes past it but doesn’t come down to the Barry or where the airport is. There’s no motorway spur. Again you’re on a simple two-lane road for the last couple of miles. It gets worse and worse.
“Wales needs a proper, well thought out integrated transport policy, that sits with an independent country.
“We do have an airport marked on the map in north Wales. The problem is that it’s owned by the RAF and the only flights that go in and out from there is a daily flight from Cardiff with a 19 seater that has to be propped up.”
He added that it was easier to get to Aberystwyth from the midlands than it was from either the north or south of Wales.
“The biggest problem is that Wales is north Wales and south Wales and mid-Wales and they are not properly joined up at all,” he said.
“It takes about four hours to get from Bangor or Caernarfon down to Cardiff by road. It’s only 170 miles, it’s a beautiful beautiful drive with some stunning scenery, but it will take you forever.
“And bits of it are really like a country lane, and of course this time of year when we have visitors they think they’re in a country lane and drive at 40 miles an hour.
“But that is the main route north-south and it doesn’t join up.
“I can remember complaining bitterly this is before devolution even to a civil servant. I was ranting on about this lack of a decent road and he said, well, there’s no real demand for it.
“He said you know once you get north of the Brecon Beacons, I mean, what is there?
“I suppose it makes sense, he said in a very superior voice, if you’re interested in nation-building. I had to be physically restrained!
“You can imagine though can’t you there are real difficulties.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.