Latest Rail News

05.12.12

Welsh taskforce set up for integrated rail system

A metro-style rail system task force is being set up in south east Wales to push forward plans to connect the region. The system would enable passengers to travel across the region in 45 minutes from either Cardiff or Newport.

Transport minister Carl Sargeant has launched the group, which will make recommendations in early 2013 on the system. The task force builds on discussions with the head of Sewta, whose membership includes all ten local authorities across south east Wales.

Partners are being invited to the task force from Network Rail, CBI Wales, train operating companies, Wales TUC and Sustrans.

The group will be asked to make recommendations on a clear identity for the integrated transport initiative, reflecting its fully pan-region purpose; a timetable to support integrated transport; clear aspirations for maximum journey times and minimum frequencies; a set of minimum standards for ticketing focusing on affordability and integrated ticketing; as well as an appropriate governance arrangement.

Sargeant said: “Good transport is critical for both economic growth and social inclusion and the reduction of poverty. Our absolute priority as a government is to create jobs and enable growth – and it is clear that transport services have an important role to play in that. This will improve employment prospects and thereby reduce poverty.

“It will allow a truly regional approach to the planning of transport that links into wider plans for economic development, housing and regeneration and improving the environment.

“We can build on discussions that I have already opened with the UK government on the case for rail modernisation for north Wales and its key routes.

“This includes the North Wales Coast Main Line between Holyhead, via Chester, and Crewe, the north-south routes to/from Wrexham, Manchester and Cardiff and direct connections between North Wales and Liverpool.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. Mattbuck

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