Rhondda Cynon Taf Councillor Andrew Morgan has been elected as the new Chair of the South East Wales Transport Alliance.
The Labour Councillor for Mountain Ash West is the RCT Cabinet Member for Transport, Customer Care and Emergency Planning and was unanimously elected Chair at Sewta’s quarterly meeting in Cardiff County Hall on June 17th 2011. Councillor Malcolm Parker (Plaid Cymru) of Caerphilly was elected vice-chair.
Sewta is the alliance of local authorities charged with developing transport policy and co-ordinating transport projects on behalf of the 10 local authorities in South East Wales and their partners, both in the transport industry and in organisations representing passengers.
Sewta’s membership includes the local authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan. Partners are Sustrans, Passenger Focus, Bus users UK, Arriva Trains Wales, First Great Western, Network Rail and the Confederation of Passenger Transport. Sewta works closely with the Welsh Government which provides funding for many of the projects which are being taken forward through the Regional Transport Plan.
These have included the reopening of the Ebbw Valley and Vale of Glamorgan railways lines to passenger trains, platform extensions on the Valley lines, new rail and bus stations and cycle and walking routes.
Sewta also offers a free public car sharing service at www.sewtacarshare.com and travel plan assistance to employers and organisations at www.gettravelwise.com.
Councillor Morgan takes the Sewta chair at a time when the organisation is facing new challenges due to the economic climate and increasing demand for public transport due to rising fuel and parking costs. Sewta’s role has also recently expanded to include co-ordination of the regional road safety programme.
Chair of Sewta Councillor Andrew Morgan said: “I am delighted to be elected Chair of Sewta at such a vital time for the alliance. Issues such as the economic situation, soaring fuel prices and climate change mean that the need for sustainable transport is moving up both local and national government agendas. Sewta’s achievements demonstrate the added value that can be gained from effective collaboration between adjoining local authorities.”
“Sewta is committed to making it easy for people to change their travel habits by planning and delivering an integrated transport system for South East Wales which is both safe and accessible for all.