Julie James, Minister for Climate Change
We have now received the North Wales Transport Commission’s final report and recommendations, along with a separate report into improving the resilience of the Menai crossings. I extend our thanks to Lord Burns, the Commissioners, and the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales officials who supported them, for their comprehensive and considered reports.
We will consider the recommendations in detail with the North Wales Corporate Joint Committee. The report provides a strong basis for the development of the Corporate Joint Committee’s Regional Transport Plan for North Wales as well as for taking forward our National Transport Plan.
The Commission has built on the successful model of the South East Wales Transport Commission and North Wales Metro development work to provide a route map to modal shift through more efficient, high-quality transport connections across and into north Wales.
The Commission sets out an ambitious set of proposals, which if implemented successfully will give people who live in north Wales and neighbouring areas new transport choices, with more opportunities to use quality public transport and active travel.
Some of the proposals are within our devolved competence, and some are not.
Naturally we welcome the electrification of the North Wales Main Line – an enhancement Welsh Government has long argued for. However, improving line speeds, unlocking capacity through Chester, and delivering improvements on the Wrexham-Bidston line will deliver more immediate benefits to passengers, as well as supporting modal shift and improving the business case for future electrification.
We expect further development work to reinforce that and recognise the important role of the Wales Rail Board in agreeing rail funding priorities for Wales.
We have therefore asked Transport for Wales to work collaboratively with Network Rail, the Department of Transport, and other stakeholders, to support the development work underway in response to the UK Government’s announcement.
Copies of the reports can be found at: North Wales Transport Commission: final report | GOV.WALES & North Wales Transport Commission: Menai Strait transport connections | GOV.WALES