Metro Plus: Newport to Cardiff Bus Priority Corridor
What is the project about?
A £50 million programme of schemes has been developed (Metro Plus Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Programme), which will support the implementation of the South Wales Metro.
The Metro Plus RTA Programme will see each Local Authority within South East Wales receive a £3million share to implement a scheme. Funding is being provided from Welsh Government (£15million) and from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCRCD) (£15million) to implement this programme, with a further £20m being funded by Local Authority and private investment.
This Metro Plus project is part of a much wider programme to deliver alternative sustainable transport options to an M4 relief road.
Specifically the Metro Plus project will include the provision of a new transport rapid bus corridor between Newport and Cardiff. This will incorporate high quality passenger facilities including electronic information, EV charging for buses, a possible large park and ride facility, as well as active travel measures to access the corridor.
The Newport to Cardiff Bus Corridor links a number of significant trip attractors in the Cardiff Capital Region, including:
- Cardiff City Centre
- Newport Road Retail Park
- St Mellons Business park
- Cleppa Park/IQE Semi-conductor plant
- Office of National Statistics / Patent Office
- Royal Gwent Hospital
- Newport City Centre
Services on this corridor suffer from extended journey times (current schedules indicating a time of circa 1 hour to undertake the 15-mile journey), with operators confirming services are subject to considerable journey time variability. There is also a lack of consistency in roadside infrastructure, which does not present a coherent offer to potential users.
The South East Wales Transport Commission concluded their study and released its Recommendations on 26th November 2020. The commission was established to recommend ways to reduce congestion on the M4 motorway without building a new relief road around Newport.
Their main proposal is for a ‘network of alternatives’, providing a comprehensive and coordinated public transport alternative to the M4. The network is designed to give people and businesses new transport options that do not use the motorway – or indeed a car. One of the recommendations includes a new rapid bus corridor between Newport and Cardiff. Newport Council and TfW have been tasked with considering this proposal.
The purpose of this project is to identify and implement opportunities to address these issues.
Investment and leverage
The CCRCD and WG will each invest development funding into this project to develop the scheme to a stage that is necessary to attract additional funding from such wider programmes.
Expected benefits and outcomes
At an early stage of development, the provision of a new transport rapid bus corridor between Newport and Cardiff will include;
- High quality passenger facilities including electronic information,
- EV charging for buses
- A potential large park and ride facility,
- Active travel measures to access the corridor.
The proposal will form part of a suite of proposals to take forward to delivery to relief congestion on the M4 and to speed up journey times.
Initial focus will be on developing the programme sufficiently to enable it to attract wider investment to deliver the overall transport programme.
Key partners and people involved
The following organisations are partners in the project: