Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change
I welcome this report from the North Wales Transport Commission. A significant amount of evidence-gathering and analysis has been undertaken and I thank the Commission for providing such detailed consideration of the transport issues facing north Wales.
I met with Lord Burns and the Commissioners while they were in Bangor and was struck by their enthusiasm and commitment to making real change happen as a result of this work.
The Commission’s Progress Statement identifies its emerging thoughts and identifies where the opportunities are for a better transport system, focusing on where we can make it easier for everyone to travel more sustainably.
We hear a lot of discussion about longer-distance routes and car journeys. However, the Commission’s analysis shows that the majority of journeys made in the region are short in length and to the same or neighbouring area. These are the trips that are suited to walking, cycling or public transport and this is where improved public transport and active travel networks can make modal shift more achievable and appealing - giving people good opportunities to change how they travel for local, everyday journeys.
Lord Burns will now lead a period of engagement with stakeholders to test the findings of the report before submitting their interim and final recommendations.
In the meantime, the Welsh Government is moving ahead with action to enhance connectivity across north Wales, and I will shortly be providing members with an update on progress with the north Wales metro; but I am pleased that the Commission has already identified some of this work as a priority for improved public transport to key employment and development sites. This includes planned improvements for connectivity to HS2, direct services between Wrexham and Liverpool and the new station at Deeside.
I have asked the Commission to also consider the resilience of access to and from Ynys Mon in light of the recent closure of the Menai Bridge.
I look forward to receiving further reports later this year. The Commission is keen to hear people’s views, and I would encourage responses from all with an interest in the issues raised and the potential solutions.
The report can be found here: https://www.gov.wales/north-wales-transport-commission-progress-statement-january-2023