Transport for Wales
Once we have achieved devolution of all rail services, we will task Transport for Wales with creating an all-Wales rail network, connecting the north with the south and enabling rail traffic between the major centres of population. This core network would include:
- The north and south Wales main lines.
- The central Wales line, linking Swansea, Llanelli and Shrewsbury.
- The Cambrian line, linking Aberystwyth with Shrewsbury.
- The new West Coast line linking Carmarthen with Bangor and on to Amlwch.
- Metros for the South-east, North-east, and Swansea Bay and the Western Valleys.
This network would support transit-oriented development along its route, calculated to enhance economic development in the most sustainable and climate responsible way.
The Great (Welsh) Train Robbery
We need full devolution of railway infrastructure as well as operations to Wales. This will entitle Wales to full equivalent funding for schemes such as HS2 high-speed rail line in England.
Because we do not control our rail infrastructure we receive no balancing increases in the Welsh block grant to compensate for hugely expensive projects such as HS2 which benefits only England and in this case is harmful to the Welsh economy. Under the Barnett formula Scotland and Northern Ireland will be entitled to a proportion of the HS2 costs. This means Wales will lose out by £250m a year while Scotland will benefit by £350m. Over the lifetime of the project, it means £11 billion for Scotland but nothing for Wales.
Transport for Wales will be responsible for:
- Preparing a new national transport plan within the first year of government, for all modes of travel, with projects listed in order of priority.
- Itemising a ten-year investment programme for implementation of the plan, in partnership with Prosperity Wales and the Development Bank for Wales once its remit has been expanded to include infrastructure projects.
- Delivering on strategic objectives, including:
- The shortening of journey times from Cardiff to Swansea, first to 45 minutes then to half an hour.
- Improving journey-times between Bangor and Cardiff.
- Opening a new rail corridor using the Swansea District Line to achieve faster and more frequent services between west and mid Wales to Cardiff.
- Overseeing the implementation of the Metro for the south-east, operating in collaboration with the Valleys Development Authority once it is established, and progressing plans for a Metro service for Swansea Bay and the Western Valleys.
- Producing a Strategic Development Plan for the North-East that will identify opportunities for Transit Oriented Development linked to the proposed Metro network.
- Developing proposals for a North West metro plan, including a new Amlwch to Dolgellau ‘tram-train’ service and extension of the Conwy line to Bala and Trawsfynydd.
- Managing Wales-wide bus services.
- Combining rail with a regulated bus service to ensure a public transport option is provided for all parts of Wales, including small towns and villages which currently have only sporadic public transport facilities.
- Managing the Government-sponsored Wales-wide TrawsCymru bus service network so integrating it with the national rail network operated by the Government controlled Transport for Wales Rail Ltd and other operators franchised in England.
- Ensuring ticket fares and provision don’t only favour ‘traditional’ working and travel patterns, and public service providers are trained on sexual harassment in public spaces.
- Introducing a Wales-wide National bus and rail Smart Card ticketing service for passenger convenience. Multi-journey discounts should cater for part-time workers as well as season tickets designed for a five day working week.
- Producing an Active Travel Plan for Wales with a target for 50 per cent more commuter travel to be undertaken by cycling by 2030. Sufficient space will be allocated on all new rolling stock to enable train and bike commutes to become a practical option on the Welsh rail network.
- We would task Transport for Wales with producing detailed feasibility studies on key projects including:
- Reopening the Amman Valley line to passengers.
- Extending the Rhondda Fawr line to Tynewydd.
- Reopening the line to Amlwch.
- Connecting Blaenau Ffestiniog with Trawsfynydd.
- Linking Llangollen to Wrexham.
- Reopening the Mumbles Tramway.
- Linking Ystrad Mynach to Bedlinog.