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Welsh Government ‘starts conversation’ on South West Wales Metro with consultation

16 Mar 2021 3 minute read
Ken Skates picture by Welsh Government. Transport for Wales train picture by Jeremy Segrott (CC BY 2.0).

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on the creation of the South West Wales Metro.

It says people living in the area will have an opportunity to make their voices heard about transport options and is encouraging them to get involved.

The Welsh Government and Transport for Wales (TfW) are working in partnership with Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea Councils to develop proposals for the Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro.

It will run for 12 weeks from today (March 16th) and will present options for improving rail services within the south west area.

These include increased frequency of long-distance strategic services, increased local services from the west to Carmarthen and Swansea, new stations and improvements to existing stations, and development of a Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro network.

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said: “These proposals look to the future, our recovery from Covid and the development of a high-quality, integrated transport system fit for purpose.

“They are all about making it easier to travel, whether by train, bus, bike or on foot. It’s about making it easier to get to work or school, to your hospital appointment or to get out and about in the evenings and weekends using public transport.

“I urge everyone with an interest to get involved.”

The Deputy Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Ted Latham, also the Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering, said: “It’s widely recognised that at peak hours, congestion on both our local and strategic road network is a real problem in the region.

“I hope the South West Wales Metro project will look to create a modern, sustainable transport network to encourage the use of public transport, community transport and active travel routes to realise the capacity in our constrained road networks.”

‘Significant transport project’ 

Cllr Phil Baker Cabinet Member for Infrastructure in Pembrokeshire County Council said: “We welcome this consultation, as it will enable the people of Pembrokeshire to shape this significant transport project.

“As we emerge from this pandemic a fit for purpose public transport system will be essential to ensure our communities can travel to work, shop and socialise – it will also support our vital tourism economy. I would encourage Pembrokeshire residents to take part.”

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement & Infrastructure Management, Swansea City and County Council said: “This is an opportunity for people in Swansea and the wider region to have a say, or express an opinion on how they would like to see transport services deliver what they want in the future.”

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to explore options for improved public transport and connections to Carmarthenshire and further west, aligning with our aspirations and plans for the county which include targeted regeneration of our rural market towns.”

James Price, Transport for Wales Chief Executive, said: “Our aim is to deliver a transport network the people of Wales are proud of and to help us achieve this it’s vital we hear from as many people as possible.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to help shape transport plans in South West Wales and we would encourage everyone to engage with the consultation.”

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