Great news for Wales – Welsh Transport Forum 2019

BN SHE has a number of clients based in South Wales, so it was only natural for us to want to understand the strategy and direction of travel for transport infrastructure for the region. So, we attended the Welsh Transport Forum, which was held in Cardiff on Thursday, 4th April 2019.

As Wales is an area we operate in on a regular basis, for rail, ISO and health and safety consultancy, it makes sense for us to understand the potential investment and priorities for transport infrastructure in the region.

It’s fair to say that, like other areas of the UK, Wales has suffered from a lack of investment into its transport infrastructure over many years. However, in 2018 the Welsh Government publicised a £5 billion investment in the rail franchise over a fifteen-year period.

The 2019-20 draft budget paper describes a total £4.7 billion public investment including:

  • £3 billion for services
  • £793m for the South Wales Metro and Taff’s Well Depot
  • £900m to operate and maintain the “core” South Wales Valleys once ownership transfers to the Welsh Government

This means a new era for rail in Wales, with an increase in frequency of services, capacity and quality of rolling stock, as well as the creation of 600 new jobs. A full report on investment into the Wales and borders rail infrastructure can be found on the Rail Magazine website.

We were really interested to hear from all five speakers on the night, but of particular interest was the keynote speech from Bill Kelly, Managing Director (Wales and Borders Route) Network Rail. Bill talked about Network Rail’s strategy to become a more customer focussed, service driven organisation, which we believe is long overdue ‘good news’ for passenger.

We had a really enjoyable night, met and connected with interesting people and companies from all over Wales. We came away feeling positive that we will be doing more and longer-term business with our existing clients as well as new business with clients needing the right accreditation to become part of the supply chain for the Welsh rail industry.

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