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New CILT report provides a future vision of transport in Wales

Electrified railways, metro-style systems and innovative, technology-enabled rural transport solutions will be common in the future, according to a report published by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Cymru Wales.

The report, Vision 2035: Cymru Wales, looks to the future and visualises how transport and logistics in Wales could develop, taking account of population changes, technological developments and social and political change.

By 2035, the report foresees Wales making decisions on all aspects of transport, including air passenger duty, rail franchising and road policy. It also predicts greater government involvement in public transport operations, with not-for-profit business models being adopted.

In specific regards to rail, the report says: “Rail infrastructure should be highlighted as a specific example of where the Welsh government will have primary responsibility by 2035. The example of devolution of Network Rail output specification to Scotland remains the best blueprint, although the cross-border situation between Wales and England will require an intergovernmental partnership solution.”

As part of significant enhancements in the transport network, CILT predicts there will be electrification on all major rail routes and journeys to London from all parts of Wales, using trains that can achieve at least 140mph.

The future will also see urban areas, such as the city regions, characterised by metro-style systems using bus and rail based technology focused on interchanges, according to the report. These interchanges will be centres of economic activity, both retail and employment, and designed to include walking and cycling.

CILT foresees a big challenge being providing cost-effective rural transport. Rural railways that are not electrified will need innovative solutions such as providing shared coach and rail routes, the report states.

The report also highlights some potential developments after 2035. High speed rail lines from South Wales to London and Northern England will be planned, offering journey times from Cardiff of less than one hour. Discussions will also be taking place regarding a rail tunnel from Holyhead to Dublin, as a major European transport corridor.

“As an essential part of the economy, it is hoped Vision 2035 provides a long term view of transport in Wales,” said Dr Andrew Potter, chair of CILT Cymru Wales. “By thinking now about the opportunities and challenges ahead, better solutions can be found that make a real difference to passengers and businesses alike.”

(Image: Cardiff station, c. Philip Halling)

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