Welsh Government is delivering on its promises to improve transport in and around Newport.
Deputy Minister for Transport Lee Waters has announced we are appointing Simon Gibson CBE as the Chair of the Burns Delivery Board, with Dr Lynn Sloman MBE his Vice Chair.
Together they will oversee the progression of the 58 Burns recommendations by the unit set up in Transport for Wales, for which a budget of over £4 million has been approved.
Deputy Minister for Transport Lee Waters said:
“The Burns report sets out a plan for a modern public transport system for Newport, which will ease congestion around the M4 and improve services for residents of the city. We’ve said all along we don’t want this report to sit on a shelf, we want action. So we’re pleased that Simon Gibson has agreed to lead a Delivery Board of key partners to make sure that the ideas in the report get turned into reality.
“Combined with the three projects that will share the £11 milion investment in new routes for cycling and walking announced last week - the Bettws and Malpas Canal Link, the Eastern Links and the Devon Place to Queensway Active Travel Bridge will make it easier for people to move around the city without needing a car.
“We are also extending our on-demand fflecsi buses to cover the whole of the Newport City local bus network, showcasing Wales as a world-leader in demand responsive travel, offering a model for future bus delivery in other parts of Wales.
“When combined with the news that the Ebbw Vale Line Frequency Enhancement scheme has been approved, which will enable a second train to run to Ebbw Vale and pave the way for four trains per hour, we can see movement in the right direction.”
During last week’s launch of the Wales Transport Strategy it was announcement an additional £70 million is being made available to Blaenau Gwent County Council to secure the additional service between Newport and Ebbw Vale and contribute to the longer term ambition of 4 trains per hour. The funding will enable the infrastructure improvements to be taken forward alongside Network Rail and Transport for Wales.
Simon Gibson CBE said:
“Improving travel options is key for both residents, commuters and businesses in the region. These issues need to be resolved and actions taken to ensure effective patterns of travel in the aftermath of COVID-19 which will be quite different from the past. I’m excited to take up this position, working closely with the Welsh Government and all stakeholders.”
Dr Lynn Sloman MBE said:
“I worked with Lord Burns developing these ambitious recommendations for Newport, designed to make public transport and active travel in SE Wales as good as in Switzerland and the Netherlands. There’s a lot of work to do, and I’m very pleased to see it moving forward.”