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Watch: ‘It’s like a country lane!’ Business expert slams Wales’ transport infrastructure

21 Apr 2022 3 minute read

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.”

‘Nation building’

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.”


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Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago

Absolutely agree. Our modern infrastructure was set out under the remit of Westminster. It is no surprise that our roads are oriented for the convenience of English people entering and leaving Wales and for Welsh resources to be taken from Wales.
North and South Wales will be joined by infrastructure when it becomes a benefit to England for this to happen.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
5 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

Yes that is what happens with colonies

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

Unfortunately yes. But despite their best efforts we, the “indigenous” population (sorry Beaker people) are still the majority on our patch. They simply installed the instruments of administration and oppression. We were the practice run for the “British” Empire

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
5 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

Yes very true sadly

Mawkernewek
5 months ago

Its one thing to complain, another thing to have a serious and detailed alternative.
Not having a good north-south road, if there is to be one, it would have to go somewhere, and someone would have to pay for it.

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

This is true. The arguments against from Westminster have always been that the terrain is too challenging. It really isn’t when you look at the likes of Switzerland, Norway, Eastern Europe, Italy. We simply have not been the ones holding the purse strings, and those that do, don’t care about benefits TO Wales.

Mawkernewek
5 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

Wales isn’t like the Alps though, it’s dissected by many smaller valleys. At least it isn’t Cornwall where some of the road layouts date back to the Bronze Age.

In the real world, the cost of a new dual-carriageway the length of Wales, would have to compete against other priorities for a newly independent Welsh government, and face serious environmental opposition given that it would be a massive scar on all that lovely scenery.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
5 months ago

That is what you can expect living in a colony

Richard Jenkins
Richard Jenkins
5 months ago

Welsh transport has always been designed with extraction to England as the primary concern. The road & rail link to Cardiff Airport is disgraceful. After arriving in Cymru you small bus through a housing estate to a dirty, litter filled, bus stop on the side of the track. The train is old, dirty & feeble. The contrast with Malaga is shameful. The train to Pwllheli from Cardiff is both frightful & interminable. We need independence so we can control and develop our infrastructure properly. Don’t leave it to corrupt Westminster.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
5 months ago

The real reason that the roads from South Wales to north Wales is so bad has been in the past the English government plan is divide and rule and steal All our assets we in Wales should be living in one of the welthiest country in the world with All the assets we had in the past and All that money that was taken out of Wales

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm rj

It’s not only the English Gov, the Tory party in Cymru are demanding we spend more on links to England, it has been part of a campaign by them for years, even wanting Westminster to overrule our Gov on road building, and they would love to have Cardif airport closed.

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago

You can forget any major initiative on roads. Wales Gov ( colonial admin) has pronounced that it will not be funding any major new road programmes. Soon it will announce that they will stop funding the filling of potholes ! And anything resembling a decent rail network is a pipedream, no one is working on the reality of an all Wales rail system.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Welsh infrastructure is a national joke. We are often told by British Unionists how beneficial it is to be part of this wonderful United Kingdom where you cannot freely travel from the South to the North without leaving Wales completely because no major road or rail infrastructure go through Mid Wales. And we find ourselves witness to the English self-servatives spend hundreds of billions on upgrading already upgraded English rail & road infrastructure while poor relation Wales goes wanting an ongoing travesty. And if we don’t wake up and realise were are being taken for fools this will continue forever… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

He is right you know…a by-pass at Llanbedr would help…a north south railway without going into another country is a no brainer and the Traws Cymru coach is a bit 18th Century for modern travel needs…however Cymru is a bit different, that is why so many people from Europe and elsewhere love the place, so a happy and efficient compromise that does not wash the baby out with the bath water is needed. The thing is that rural Wales must decide its own character not Cardiff, a place that seems to think it is in the US of A …

Gwyn Parry
Gwyn Parry
5 months ago

Divide and rule. Classic colonial policy from Westminster

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
5 months ago

another Hurry Up merchant.

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
5 months ago

The A470 is mostly an adequate route from Dolgellau to the South. It is an enjoyable drive through some wonderful countryside. The quality of the road surface in Gwynedd is excellent so I have no complaints.
I would ask that very quickly those involved in transport planning forget roads and look at getting better rail connections between the North and
South.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

From Dolgellau north it is spectacular…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

Given that we have to wait 30 or 40 years to see which bits are still above sea level by which time Westminster will have taken us back beyond Third World levels we need to invest in mules not motorways.

BarryD
BarryD
5 months ago

Wag don’t want it. They let down the people of Wales on so many fronts

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago

And how do we do it? China could help us. See : In Britain We Are doomed, part of a series by Jeremy Clarkson. Shows that terrain is not a problem.
Cymru should join Belt and Road as the fact is the English Gov. will always hinder us

Last edited 5 months ago by I.Humphrys

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