Regional transport consortium Sewta has welcomed the creation of a Welsh Government task force to drive forward the development of a future integrated transport system in South East Wales.
Sewta (the South East Wales Transport Alliance) which co-ordinates transport strategy, plans and programmes for the 10 local councils of South East Wales, will play a leading role in the work of the new group which will have its first meeting before Christmas.
The announcement of the new task force follows discussions between the Chair of Sewta, Councillor Andrew Morgan, and the Minister for Local Government and Communities, Carl Sargeant AM.
Councillor Morgan said:
“Sewta welcomes the lead shown by Carl Sargeant in establishing the South East Wales Integrated Transport Task Force. The coming of electrification to the South Wales Main Line and the Valleys Lines, for which Sewta lobbied hard, gives us the once in a lifetime opportunity to create a comprehensive integrated rapid transit system which will boost both social inclusion and economy growth. This task force will produce a blueprint to deliver these benefits to the people as quickly as possible.”
The Minister for Local Government and Communities, who will chair the first meeting, will be asking the task force to provide recommendations to shape and co-ordinate integrated transport services in South East Wales, to provide benefits for the whole region and specifically recommendations for:
o a clear identity for this integrated transport initiative which reflects its fully pan-region purpose;
o a timetable that supports unified integrated transport and that sets clear aspirations for maximum journey times and minimum frequencies to and from key points;
o a set of minimum standards for ticketing, accessibility, affordability and accountability. Integrated ticketing will be a key aim.
o an appropriate governance arrangement to drive this forward, linked to Welsh Government and Welsh local government’s wider collaboration agenda .
The task force will be expected to apply a holistic approach to public transport, road travel and walking and cycling to maximise outcomes and develop a vision to illustrate the future of transport in south east Wales, and a proposed management structure to drive this forward.
The partners invited to join the South East Wales Integrated Transport Task Force are:
o the Welsh Government
o Network Rail
o CBI Wales
o Wales TUC
o Train Operators
o Bus Operators (CPT)