Road to METRIX PFI military camp scrapped

Greens' joy as relief road is scrapped

South Wales Argus - ‎43 minutes ago‎
However, the Conservatives attacked the decision not to go ahead with the M4 relief road or a new road to Cardiff Airport. Shadow economy minister David ...

Newport M4 diversion plan abandoned

WalesOnline - ‎2 hours ago‎
Business leaders are expected to be unhappy about the decision to scrap the Gwent Levels motorway, which has been seen as a solution to traffic congestion....

History DEC 07

Can the Vale Cope with Defence Academy project without funds for new roads?

‘Act now on airport road’ – call by the Vale MP

Vale MP, John Smith, is calling for action to ease congestion at Culverhouse Cross and improve roads to Cardiff International Airport and the planned Defence Training Academy at St Athan. Mr Smith said: “While I recognise the need for a long-term solution in the form of a direct link from the M4 to the airport and the Defence Academy, there is need for immediate action. I shall be writing to the Welsh Assembly Government as part of its consultation on improving access to Cardiff International Airport, urging them to examine the possibility of improvements to the present airport access route from junction 33 of the M4 via Culverhouse Cross through north Barry and to the Airport and St Athan. “I believe there is an urgent need for a dedicated route to Barry skirting the western side of Culverhouse Cross. “This would provide vital breathing space while a new long-term solution is built from the M4 to the airport and the Defence Academy,” the MP insisted.

Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd 07 December 07


National Transport Plan

15 July 2009

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister & Minister for the Economy and Transport

I am pleased to present for consultation the National Transport Plan, the Welsh Assembly Government’s first comprehensive plan for delivering an integrated transport system.
Assembly Members will recall that last year I published the Welsh Assembly Government’s first ever Wales Transport Strategy: Connecting the Nation.
The plan which is presented to you today details the action we intend to take in line with that strategy – and it is based on three key principles:
- to meet the demand for enhanced mobility to enable economic growth and to improve the quality of life we seek for the people of Wales.
- to put transport onto a more sustainable and less carbon-intensive path
- and to use transport funding more effectively in light of increasing pressures on public finances
I am very grateful to the Ministerial Advisory Group, led by Richard Parry-Jones, for their advice on the transport network and I have accepted the vast majority of their recommendations.
Transport is a consistent thread that contributes to the success of many Welsh Assembly Government strategies. Newly acquired powers have given us the opportunity to use that thread to weave together the patchwork of transport provision across the nation, from roads to railways, and buses to bicycles.
But there is more we must do. We must work towards a decarbonised transport system, where people are able to choose healthier and more sustainable modes of travel. That is why we are aiming to increase the number of people walking or cycling. In our programme for Sustainable Travel Towns we will invest in new, and link existing, walking and cycling routes. Across the wider network we have plans to increase the provision of bicycle facilities on trains, at stations and in towns and cities.

We must develop our transport system to ensure that it continues to support economic prosperity, especially when we are faced with the global challenges of an economic downturn, like we are now.
This means a transport system that allows people to access services and removes barriers for people seeking jobs, particularly in less prosperous areas.
The Eddington Report stressed the importance of a long-term strategic outlook, which we have in Connecting the nation.
It also points out that investment should concentrate where economic success has concentrated demand, notably around urban areas, at international gateways and on busy inter-urban corridors where congestion, delay and reliability are already real issues.
In addition, we must also add to this our goal of spreading access to economic prosperity across Wales – particularly to the Convergence areas from the North West to the South Wales Valleys. We must ensure that areas and communities which lag behind because they have been hit by the decline of traditional industries can benefit from a resurgent economy.
The National Transport Plan sets out what we will be doing to firmly put us on the path to delivering the Welsh Assembly Government’s vision, over the next five years.
It is set out in a way that reflects the four main movement corridors in Wales – east-west in the north, mid and south, and north-south. As well as proposals that are relevant across Wales.
The proposals for the main corridors share two aims - to improve the reliability, quality and speed of rail and to improve journey times and safety on the main trunk roads
In the North West the plan outlines how we wish to address network and capacity issues on the A55 which will ensure more reliable journey times and help support the Môn a Menai regeneration programme. The work will include capacity for walkers and cyclists.
In the North East we will identify the most appropriate and sustainable transport solutions to deal with the pressures in the area between Wrexham Chester and Deeside.
Our programme of continued improvements to the North/South rail services will also improve east/west rail journeys in this region. We are committed to develop plans to enhance the capacity of the section of rail between Shrewsbury and Chester via Wrexham – enabling all north-South services to be routed through Wrexham.
Our aim in terms of North/South links is to increase dramatically the proportion of journeys that are made by public transport through improving rail travel and the TrawsCambria bus network. Over time we will see a better service, covering more communities in greater comfort.
Across Wales we have plans that will bring to an end the need for different tickets for different bus and rail journeys in Wales. A Welsh Transport Entitlement Card will offer people the ability to have one ticket for their journey.
In terms of North/South road links I have outlined my priorities in the trunk road programme – with improvements being made to the A470, the A487 and the A483 and the completion of the Ceredigion link road.
We are also examining opportunities for using “2 plus 1” lanes and passing lanes to improve North/South journey times, reliability and safety for cars, public transport, walkers and cyclists.
Improving connectivity in Mid Wales, including east/west links, is an important factor if we are to enhance the vibrancy of towns and villages in these rural areas.
Work will be complete next year to enhance the Cambrian Lines by providing additional passing loops. This will allow us to introduce hourly services between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury. We will also develop plans to introduce additional services on the Heart of Wales line.
Many of the improvements to the main road arteries in Mid Wales were outlined in the trunk road programme but we will also work with the UK Government to deliver the intervention identified for the A458.

In terms of East/ West rail links in South Wales we are working with the UK Government and the rail industry to improve rail services, particularly the Great Western Mail Line between Swansea and London with the ultimate goal of securing the electrification of the line as part of a high speed rail network,
The Transport plan commits to increasing the capacity of the Valley Lines – with additional platforms, carriages and services. This is in addition to the £3.2 million we are contributing to the new park and ride spaces along the South Wales rail routes. We also intend to integrate the development of cycle routes through the South-East valleys.

In Newport we will complete both the redevelopment of the rail station and the improvement to Gaer junction to enable direct rail services between Ebbw Vale and Newport by 2011 – a crucial development for the Heads of the Valleys regeneration scheme.
Further West we will redouble the railway line between Gowerton and Lougher.
On the South Wales road network we will complete improvements to the A465 Heads of the Valleys road by 2020 adhering to the exact timetable I inherited. We will also start a programme of works to reduce journey times on the A40 and the A477. We will also fund the completion of the Port Talbot Peripheral Distributor Road to reduce congestion on the M4 and the Church Village by-pass.
As members know the Welsh Assembly Government wants to improve access to Cardiff airport. We have consulted on a number of potential schemes. Following a study on potential routes to the Airport which highlighted the limited economic benefits to the Airport itself, when compared to the cost of the scheme, and concerns around the environmental impact I am announcing we will not be taking forward these proposals. Instead we will invest in improvements to the A4226 Five Mile Lane which will help ease traffic movement at Weycock Cross and will improve the safety of the road.
I can also announce that we will improve public transport access to Cardiff Airport, by creating more frequent bus and train services connecting the airport and Cardiff – as well as providing more convenient and regular trains between Bridgend and Barry.
The National Transport Plan sets out how we will resolve issues of capacity, safety and resilience along the M4 corridor in south-east Wales.
In 2004 the Wales Spatial Plan identified the need to increase transport capacity along the M4 corridor. Subsequently the New M4 scheme was included in the trunk road forward programme. The estimated cost of the scheme at that time was £340 million and the intention was that it would be taken forward as a public-private partnership, built with private finance which would be recovered through tolling.
Today, the cost of constructing the new M4 scheme with VAT and potential inflaction is estimated to be in the region of 1 billion pounds which means that the project has become unaffordable. The business case demonstrates that tolling the new M4, whilst other routes remain free to use, would significantly reduce the economic, environmental and social benefits of the project. Tolling of the new M4 alone would not raise the funds necessary for the scheme, and tolling both roads, in addition to the toll on the Severn crossings, would damage the attractiveness of South Wales for investment. We have therefore decided that other methods of addressing the safety and capacity issues on the existing route and other routes parallel with it represent better value for money and we will not to be implementing the Relief Road scheme.

We do however accept the need to urgently address safety and capacity issues on the existing route and today I can announce that this work will be accelerated. Over the next two years we will seek to introduce a range of measures which will include:
  • New rail facilities and stations within the Newport area and the introduction of Park and Ride sites throughout south-east Wales.
  • Improvements and modifications to motorway junctions to ease the movement of local traffic whilst ensuring long-distance traffic flows freely.
  • Enhancements and improvements to the local road network, combined with a focus on local travel planning
Through these measures we will seek to tackle congestion around the Tredegar Park area and reduce the traffic flows through the Brynglas Tunnels. We will also explore making considerable improvements to the steelworks access road and the Southern Distributor Road. In terms of improving safety, we will install concrete central reserve barriers and introduce a controlled motorway infrastructure between junctions 24 and 29.
My message to businesses and the wider community is that this Government is committed to reducing congestion, restoring capacity and reliability to this absolutely vital East/West corridor. And today we are pledging to do so in a way which is financially and environmentally sustainable as well as improving the resilience of the road with urgency.
Transport plays a crucial role in uniting our country and ensuring economic prosperity but we must get the balance right. We are no longer just being warned about climate change – we are starting to experience the impact. And the period of economic growth that many of us have enjoyed has ended with a jolt that we have all felt.
It is therefore important to be measured in our response.
This sustainable, integrated transport plan will contribute to economic recovery; it will help people get to jobs and access services and facilities where they might have struggled without a car.
The Plan will also help us to deliver our contribution to the environment, particularly our targets for emissions reductions and create a sustainable, integrated transport system fit for 21st century Wales.

Bilingual copies of the National Transport Plan
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