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Written Statement - South East Wales regional transport model

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport 

Earlier this year, I commissioned the Public Policy Institute to consider how transport planning could be strengthened in Wales.  Professor John Preston’s report 'Approaches to Strategic Transport Planning' was published in November and made the case for investment in transport demand models to inform transport planning and investment decisions.  

The Cardiff Capital Region is currently the only large conurbation in the UK (defined as over 500,000 people) that does not have a multi-modal transport model to support the planning of its transport system.  This hampers our collective ability to develop and deliver schemes which address transport needs and support other wider objectives.  

Having considered these issues, I have agreed to commission a regional transport model for the Cardiff Capital Region.  This will be a crucial tool to inform the planning and delivery of the Metro and broader transport interventions in the area and will enable the work of the newly announced not-for-dividend company to have real pace and be fully evidenced based.

The model will be designed to:

  • Understand the current travel patterns in an area and the performance of the transport system; this assists in identifying and clarifying issues
  • Monitor changes in travel patterns over time
  • Predict future travel patterns and conditions on the transport network
  • Assess the impacts of possible interventions in the transport system in a consistent manner
  • Assess the impacts of land use changes such as new housing developments and employment locations in a consistent manner; this enables the testing of the effectiveness and efficiency of proposed measures to meet their transport requirements
  • Provide inputs required for transport appraisals and business case development
  • Provide data required for development control work

The model will provide evidence for decisions on specific issues such as:

  • Cardiff Capital Region Metro: routes, new stations, park and ride, matching the mode (heavy rail, tram or bus rapid transit) to demand, bus priority schemes
  • Specifying elements of the next Welsh rail timetable and service patterns
  • Highway infrastructure changes
  • Parking policies
  • Rail improvements
  • Impact of new developments
  • Active travel measures

Work on the new regional transport model and the necessary data collection will get underway now and the model will be in place and fully validated during the next financial year.