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Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales

First published:
26 November 2020
Last updated:

Firstly I want to put on record my thanks to Lord Burns, his group of Commissioners, and the Welsh Government officials who supported the South East Wales Transport Commission for an excellent and thought provoking report.

The Welsh Government will consider the recommendations in detail, and I will make a more detailed statement to the Senedd in December. 

Coming so soon after the publication for consultation of Llwybr Newydd – the new Wales Transport Strategy I am pleased to see the close alignment of the two documents, which taken together will reshape the way that we think about how people move around Wales, and beyond.

I warmly welcome the direction of travel that the report has described, and I look forward to developing our thinking and actions, alongside our partners in Newport and other local authorities, Transport for Wales, and the UK Government.

If implemented successfully they will give people who live in South East Wales and neighbouring areas new transport choices, enabling the region to move away from a reliance on the private car and congested roads, with opportunities to balance car use with high quality public transport and active travel. As well as addressing local congestion, this would make a real impact on air quality and tackling climate change.

The Commission has set out an ambitious set of proposals. If implemented successfully they will give people who live in South East Wales and neighbouring areas new transport choices, enabling the region to move away from a reliance on the private car and congested roads, with opportunities to balance car use with high quality public transport and active travel. As well as addressing local congestion, this would make a real impact on air quality and tackling climate change.

Some of these proposals are within our devolved competence, and some are not.

I have started positive discussions with the Leader of Newport Council about how we can jointly work on the bus and active travel measures.

The rail recommendations require the UK Government to take action and rapidly implement the necessary improvements and enhancements to rail infrastructure across the region.

As I set out earlier this week, for too long Wales has been at the back of the queue when the UK Government has been investing in rail infrastructure.

This is a positive opportunity for the UK Government to invest in levelling up and I look forward to working in partnership with them to deliver the Burns vision.

I welcome the findings of this report and have asked Transport for Wales to work closely with our partners in Newport Council to support me in developing a more detailed response which I will present to the Senedd on 8th December 2020.

www.gov.wales/south-east-wales-transport-commission-final-recommendations