Delivering Metro Plus in Cardiff

Source: RTM Apr/May 2019

Cllr Huw David, chair of the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Transport Authority, and leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, explains why the recently announced Metro Plus plans will deliver local benefits to counties within the region.

Earlier this month, we announced plans to deliver a £50m programme of local transport schemes across the 10 CCR City Deal local authority areas.

With a £15m investment from the CCR City Deal, a potential £15m from Welsh Government, together with private investment and other contributions, it is our aim to deliver Phase One of a Metro Plus Programme within the very near future, in order to support the implementation of the eagerly-anticipated South Wales Metro.

Whereas Metro is a long-term ambition, with the early phases of its rollout impacting and benefitting some areas ahead of others, Metro Plus allows us to begin adding value much sooner. Metro Plus will set a standard and expectation around what “really good” complementary infrastructure development could look like – enabling communities, businesses, and residents to see and benefit from early evidence of investment in enhancements that will be fit for the future.

The public sector has an important role to play in laying the foundations for attracting new investment by the private sector, accelerating and bringing forward longer-term activity. The wider South Wales Metro project is thought to support the creation of 7,000 jobs and contribute an additional £4bn to the regional economy, of which the Phase One of Metro Plus will complement and enhance, improving deliverability within the region.

It is said that for every £1 in GVA generated in engineering sectors, a further £1.45 is created elsewhere in the UK economy. Metro Plus will be a prime example of that multiplier effect, with indirect employment benefits, both in terms of new employment created within related industries, and new investment attracted to the region through better transport links.

It is important to note that the Phase One programme brings about a range of different modes of transport, including improvements for busses through bus priority measures, interchange, park and ride facilities, and Active Travel. These developments will help contribute to core City Deal targets around direct and indirect jobs growth, as well as income generation.

A large focus will also be put on increasing the availability of electric vehicle charging points and promoting active travel within the region, considering opportunities for renewable energy and encouraging the use of more environmentally-friendly forms of transport. It is thought that this focus on improving air quality and supporting clean growth will futureproof the proposals and set a standard for the region.

The Phase One Metro Plus programme is closely aligned with the Wellbeing Goals set out within the Welsh Government’s Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, requiring public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions. Benefits will be particularly evident when it comes to improving the prosperity, health, resilience, and social cohesion of the communities this programme is set to serve.

It is our hope that the Phase One programme will provide a platform for future complementary proposals, contributing evidence, expertise, and insight to help make the case for those areas feeling outside of current Metro plans. We anticipate that the first phase of the programme delivery will commence later this year, and be complete by 2022, with further phases being brought forward, creating transport schemes that will deliver for generations to come.

The Cardiff City Deal is a £1.2bn deal to unlock significant economic growth across the Cardiff Capital Region. The 10 local authorities within the region are: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, and The Vale of Glamorgan.


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