Local Member of the Welsh Parliament for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, contributed to discussions in Plenary last week on the Welsh Government’s response to the South East Wales Transport Commission’s Final Recommendations.
Addressing Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport in the Senedd Nick said: “Can I just ask you, Deputy Minister, on the public transport enhancements that you've mentioned? It's good to hear about the proposed increase in the number of stations in Newport, but, of course, the increase in the number of stations only works when you've actually got a railway line. Two questions on the back of that: first of all, are there any plans for the Newport to Hereford line, for any increase in the number of stations there, or some increase in capacity? Because, of course, that feeds into the Newport area and would take commuters.
“Secondly, in the east of my constituency, there are no railway lines and there haven't been for 60 or 70 years. So, other than the car, there will have to be other public transport improvements. I've previously questioned the Minister for economy and transport on the possibility of a hub at the Celtic Manor, at the new convention centre. Is that something that's being looked at? Because without any of those changes in my constituency, my constituents will still have to travel by car and cause congestion around Newport”
In response Lee Waters Ms said: “That's why the new Wales transport strategy is so important, because it puts all these sorts of options on the table, and they'll be different for different communities. So, I think the demand-responsive network I mentioned, particularly for areas like yours, Nick Ramsay, which doesn't have inherent railway infrastructure, is a way of getting people out of cars and moving people around in the relatively short term. This is something that can be scaled up and rolled out quickly. So, certainly, based on the success in Newport, we would want to be rolling that out to as many communities as possible. In terms of the specific question he asks me about stations from Newport to Hereford, I will have to write to him about that, but this is an agenda that is going to be increasing. The more support there is for enhancing services and infrastructure, the more that we can all suggest improvements in our own areas to put these principles into practice.”