The Wales Transport Strategy (WTS) will have a significant relationship with the development planning system and will be a consideration in the drawing up of local and strategic development plans. These plans are an important means to develop proposals for active travel and transport schemes.
The WTS should also recognise the strong relationship with the Future Wales - the National Development Framework (NDF). The NDF will provide the framework to strategically guide development in Wales. It has an important role to play in identifying infrastructure projects and other development at a time where there is uncertainty around the future of planned projects, infrastructure finance and now the UK has left the European Union. It is important to recognise the spatial distinctiveness of places in developing policy. At the national level, it will be Future Wales which can facilitate an integrated approach, linking decisions on economic development with those on housing, climate change, energy generation, transport, and other infrastructure, providing a spatial framework for investment.
It is therefore vital that we work to better integrate transport and development planning policies, plans, strategies and funding as well as effectively integrating our working practices across these sectors and others, such as health.
We welcome the reference to Future Wales and the collaboration work that has already taken place on these strategies. Future Wales provides a strong framework to meet the economic, social, environmental and cultural ambitions in Wales. It is essential that the WTS and the National Transport Delivery Plan (NTDP) is implemented through the framework provided by Future Wales.
We note the statutory requirement on Welsh Government to keep the WTS under review. We particularly welcome that this review coincides with the preparation of the first NDF. Given the importance of integration between land use and transport planning at all levels, we would ask Welsh Government to commit to always reviewing the NDF and the WTS in conjunction with each other.
While we support the broad intentions of the Vision set out in the consultation it could be strengthened by including an explicit commitment to reducing the impact of transport upon climate change and making significant progress towards meeting the Well-being Goals. Given the influence of the location of development and design upon travel patterns and behaviour, we believe this should be reflected in the WTS Priorities.
The full response can be viewed here.