A new transport commission that will develop a pipeline of transport schemes for north Wales has been announced today by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters.
The North Wales Transport Commission follows the model of the commission set-up after the cancellation of the M4 relief road in south east Wales and will also be led by Lord Terry Burns, former Permanent Secretary of the UK Treasury.
The announcement follows recommendations from the Welsh Government’s Roads Review Panel and the recently published Union Connectivity Review by Network Rail Chair Sir Peter Hendy for a ‘multi-modal’ review of the A55 corridor.
The year-long review will develop recommendations for road, rail, bus and active travel across the whole of north Wales.
Local schemes to be considered by the Roads Review Panel
- A55 J33b Ewloe to A494 Queensferry interchange corridor study
- A55 – Junction 30
A55 Slow moving vehicle over taking restrictions
- A55 / A494 Network Resilience Study
- Flintshire Corridor Improvement
- Warren Hall, Flintshire (North Wales)
- Chester-Broughton Growth Corridor (North Wales)
This step follows on from the advice of the Roads Review Panel to cancel current plans for the A55 Junction 14/15 and 16/16A improvements scheme, which Ministers have agreed.
It has also now been agreed which further schemes the Panel will consider as part of their final report due this summer.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said: “If we are serious about facing up to the Climate Emergency, we have to be willing to do things differently, and critically to give people across north Wales genuine alternatives to using their cars for most journeys.
“As well as looking at the A55 corridor, the North Wales Transport Commission will also look at how we can improve sustainable transport options in rural areas.This will need a shift of investment towards public transport and I’m very pleased Lord Burns has agreed to lead a panel of local experts to set out a detailed list of projects that will be needed to make this a reality.” This does not mean the end of road building, but it does mean a greater emphasis on looking after the roads we already have as well as investing in alternatives to give people a real choice.”
In June last year, Mr Waters announced a freeze on new road-building projects, whilst a review of highway schemes across Wales was carried out.
Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement, Silviya Barrett, Head of Policy at Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Simply building more and bigger roads is not the way to solve transport problems. Wales is showing great leadership by looking at transport in the round, and seeking solutions that work for people, places and the planet.
“Rather than accepting a future of ever-rising traffic, pollution and climate catastrophe, governments should actively plan for a future of good public transport, walking and cycling, so that people can easily choose sustainable modes and travel by car less.”