A new report from a committee tasked with looking at the operation of the rail network in Wales has incorporated advice from RTPI Cymru to help shape its recommendations.
The Welsh Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee, released its final report today with 19 recommendations for the Welsh Government. It outlines how best to award the contracts and set priorities for the next operator of rail services across Wales and the development of the Metro service for South Wales.
Use transport to deliver sustainable growth
In its evidence to the committee, RTPI Cymru highlighted the ‘important connections between economic development, housing, transport and planning, and…ways that planning can help to maximise the value of the Metro investment in delivering sustainable growth’.
The committee drew attention to RTPI Cymru’s advice that links joining Swansea and Bristol city regions with Cardiff was critical for future economic growth. The report went on to quote the Institute directly: ‘It is important that planning for the Metro sits within a strategic transport and development planning framework that looks beyond South East Wales alone.”
RTPI Cymru’s evidence demonstrating how transport can deliver sustainable growth helped shape recommendation 17. It calls on the Welsh Government to consider the spatial context in decision making.
Sustainable development principles must be central in decision making
The report included the RTPI Cymru’s emphasis on the importance of sustainable development. The Institute, referencing the Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, recommended ‘proposals for the Metro are developed with sustainable development as the central organising principle’.
Local knowledge key to developing rail priorities
The Committee agreed with RTPI Cymru’s concern about a ‘consultation deficit’ and, using the Institute’s advice, urged the Welsh Government to use the local community’s knowledge to inform the management priorities of the rail network and better engage with local stakeholders.
The Welsh Government will now consider and respond to the report.
Read: RTPI Cymru’s Rail Franchise and South Wales Metro consultation response
Read: On the right track? The Rail Franchise and South Wales Metro
More information about the ‘Rail Franchise and The Metro’ inquiry