Today saw leaders of Cardiff Capital Region Local Authorities and members of Welsh Government travel across the CCR to view the progress being delivered by the South Wales Metro Plus Programme.
An electric bus took Members of the Cardiff Capital Region Regional Transport Authority (CCRTA) – Chaired by Cllr Huw David, Leader of Bridgend Council – on a tour of the transport transformation coming to life across the most populous region in Wales.
Cllr David stressed the importance of this programme for the socio-economic wellbeing of everyone in the CCR, explaining:
“Metro Plus is all about connecting our communities, unlocking their development potential – and sparking the economic regeneration that creates sustainable social value for the whole of South Wales.
“The green agenda is at the heart of that – encouraging a modal shift to a more environmentally-friendly infrastructure and transport service, built on a common assessment framework that works for the future of everyone in our region.”
Given that, we spoke with the Infrastructure team at CCR to find out exactly what’s happening – and what the end results will bring …
A collective force for good
“The South Wales Metro Plus Programme is a c.£40M collaborative investment by every local authority in South East Wales” explains Rob O’Dwyer, Head of Infrastructure for CCR.
“It’s a force for good, focused on creating a more competitive, connected and resilient region – driving the widespread regeneration, sustainable employment and move towards a decarbonised economy and society, across a geography that’s both immensely varied and the most populous in Wales.”
“This pioneering programme has brought together the collective transport visions and ambitions of 10 local authorities and the Welsh Government – for the very first time” emphasises Rob “through the engine that is CCRRTA: working collaboratively with Welsh Government, Transport for Wales and a range of other partners to deliver an infrastructure that will improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of a region that is home to 50% of the economic output of Wales.
“So this whole programme is critical for the future success of the Cardiff Capital Region – and the whole of Wales.”
Helping unlock the potential of our region
“It’s a groundbreaking programme that will bring a whole new level of mobility to our Region”, says Clare Cameron, Transport & Energy Manager for the CCR Infrastructure team, “enabling people and their skills to move much more easily throughout South East Wales.
“In effect, we’re unlocking the potential that sits all around our region: creating ‘interchanges’ that incorporate all modes of transport and act as key hubs for travel, radically enhancing Park & Ride facilities complete with electric charging points, building both brand new and extended Metro networks that will open up and enable improved access to far wider activities and opportunities – from work, training and education to culture, retail and leisure.”
The whole Metro Plus programme (which supplements the core £734M South Wales Metro scheme) is built on a collectively-inspired Common Assessment Framework, ensuring that each of the 10 Metro Plus Phase 1 schemes are not ‘individual’ transport schemes, but rather a strategically joined-up programme of enabling infrastructure.
Connecting our region like never before
And that joined-up thinking is now delivering a joined-up network, as Charlotte Davidson, Infrastructure Officer for the CCR Infrastructure team, explains:
“The programme is putting in place a new level of connectivity right across the region, with Phase 1 of the programme seeing each Local Authority in South East Wales receive a £3M share towards implementing their specific scheme – with each project developed in a comprehensive manner and tested for their strategic fit, to make sure they meet the ‘economic’, ‘deliverability’ and ‘affordability’ criteria set out for each project.
“Four of those schemes – Barry Docks Interchange, Pontypool & New Inn P&R, Porth Interchange and Severn Tunnel Junction P&R – will be completed in the first quarter of 2023/24; with the Porthcawl Bus Terminal also being delivered in 2023/24.
“Beyond that, the development and design of both the Abertillery Transport Hub and Caerphilly Interchange are ongoing; whilst the Cardiff East Bus Priority is part of a wider programme, with the CCR funding made in 2022/23 focused on delivering the bus priority element.
“Each of these schemes is transformational in their own right. Combined, they create a Region that’s connected like never before – opening up life opportunities for people in every community, acting as a magnet for inward investment, and driving a radically improved public transport service that is essential to winning the race to net zero.”
Look out for future updates on the Metro Plus programme that’s helping shape the future of transport in South East Wales – creating a more connected, more competitive and more resilient region.
#connected #competitive #resilient