Policy Forum for Wales

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

The future for transport in Wales - assessing the Transport Strategy, and priorities for decarbonisation, wellbeing, modernising infrastructure and restoring services in the wake of COVID-19

Morning, Wednesday, 14th October 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will assess the next steps for developing the transport system in Wales.

It will be an opportunity for key stakeholders and policymakers to examine the next Wales Transport Strategy - drawing together issues following the Government’s consultation on its scope ahead of the publication of the National Transport Delivery Plan.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the Wales Transport Strategy - key priorities
  • national transport infrastructure - next steps
  • services - modernising the public transport system in Wales and improving regional connectivity
  • stakeholder engagement - empowering local communities
  • wellbeing - next steps for improving health and equality in Wales, and delivering the low-carbon transport transition
  • COVID-19 - latest thinking on:
    • impact - on transport and the services that support it in Wales, as well as those working in the sector, businesses involved in transport, and passengers, road users and active travel
    • what can learned - from how transport services have adapted and from the behavioural change that has taken place
    • the new normal? - to what degree will new habits and demands that have come to the forefront during the pandemic either change or remain embedded going forward
    • support - the measures that will be needed to protect passengers and staff, and help the sector recover economically as services are restored

A scan of relevant policy developments:

  • the Wales Transport Strategy - consultation on achieving key priorities including decarbonisation, modern and resilient infrastructure, and supporting economic growth throughout Wales
  • public investment - Substantial investment to improve public transport and support economic growth announced by Welsh Government and the Wales infrastructure investment plan
  • COVID-19 - government support for public transport including maintaining train services and helping with rail service revenue loss, essential and key worker travel, and infrastructure projects
  • buses - government support for school transport, protecting bus operators from losses due to the pandemic, and Putting Passengers First, a ‘toolkit’ to strengthen bus services in Wales
  • active travel - consultation on revised delivery, planning and design guidance and views on how cycling and other active modes can be better promoted and supported
  • health and wellbeing:
    • the Clean Air Plan for Wales - including measures on active travel, rail services, decarbonisation, reducing personal vehicle use, and possible legislation
    • the Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales plan - including investment in active travel and infrastructure
    • Future Generations Commissioner urges Welsh Government to deliver on a green recovery budget the

The discussion in detail:

The Wales Transport Strategy

  • implementation - assessing how its priorities and long-term vision can be achieved
  • infrastructure - delivering upgrades for key parts of the transport network across strategic and local road networks, rail, and active travel
  • investment - what will be required and where will it be sourced, looking at the contributions of the Welsh Government and elsewhere in the public and private sectors
  • sustainability - support throughout transport modernisation: improving public transport connectivity and uptake of low-carbon transport, including developing facilities for walking and cycling
  • local engagement - involving councils, communities and businesses in addressing local transport capacity deficiencies and develop local transport plans
  • economic benefits - priorities for system upgrades to help create a more prosperous Wales: connectivity for commerce and business, employment opportunities, and public services reliability

The National Infrastructure Commission for Wales

  • key recommendations - examining proposals for the Welsh transport system in The commission’s provisional views on future infrastructure and priorities for further investigation:
  • reducing regional inequalities - transport connectivity and economic development and how to improve the way that the network connects rural and suburban areas with cities
  • the low-carbon transition - how it can be supported, including by developing infrastructure for enablers, such as electric vehicles and the installation of charging networks
  • congestion - progress and best practice in its alleviation around city and major economic centres by expanding bus and rail networks

COVID-19 and resumption of public transport in Wales

  • safety - priorities for protecting passengers and staff, both in the immediate and long term
  • minimising service disruption - steps that rail franchises and other transport operators can take to implement social distancing whilst managing the impact on transport capacity and frequency
  • support - what is most needed, financially and operationally, for transport providers and others in the sector
  • the future of connectivity - serving changes in demand, with potential increase in home and blended working and the emergence of new centres for economic activity

Active travel

  • consultation - on reforming active travel guidance
  • planning and design - support for development of appropriate facilities for walking and cycling
  • cooperation - strategies for bringing together local stakeholders and designers and engineers
  • accessibility - including improvements to maps and travel route information

The public transport system

  • design - how key areas around accessibility, connectivity, high capacity and improvement of passenger experiences can be prioritised
  • strategic and integrated transport networks - improving intermodal travel and rural and suburban connectivity, and the example of the North Wales Metro

Health, equality and wellbeing

  • low-carbon transport and infrastructure - priorities for investment and the opportunities for expanding job opportunities, skills, and healthier commuting
  • air quality - looking at improvement in suburban and major economic zones steps and the impact on public health in Wales
  • priorities for collaborative action - supporting walking and cycling facilities, transitioning to low-carbon forms of public transport, and protecting the health of communities and the vulnerable

The agenda:

  • A new Wales Transport Strategy to deliver a greener and just transport system in Wales
  • Priorities for decarbonising transportation, creating a resilient network, and contributing to the low-carbon transition and a greener Wales
  • What is needed to achieve key social and economic objectives - widening connectivity, inclusive economic growth, benefiting communities across Wales, and new priorities in light of the pandemic
  • Transport infrastructure in Wales - improving connectivity, engagement, and opportunities to drive growth and contribute to local communities
  • Designing accessible, connected, and high capacity public transport - the future of metro schemes, intermodal travel and expanded passenger options, and restoring services in the wake of COVID-19
  • Joining up transport policy with improving health and wellbeing, and achieving social goals in Wales - air quality, employment opportunities, and addressing regional economic disparities

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Senedd; the Welsh Government; the Welsh European Funding Office; The Planning Inspectorate for Wales; Natural Resources Wales the Department for Transport; the ORR; the Competition and Markets Authority; the DWP; UK Government and the Valuation Office Agency. Also due to attend are representatives from the ACT; Amey; Atkins; Cardiff Capital Region City Deal; Crumlin Navigation Community trust; Neath Port Talbot Council; Network Rail; North And Mid Wales Association Of Local Councils With Cambrain Lines; Nottingham Trent University; Quinn Infrastructure Services; Siemens Mobility; The Safety Letterbox Co; Vortex IoT and YGC - Gwynedd Council.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Dewi Rowlands

Head of Transport Planning, Welsh Government

Keynote Speakers

Eluned Parrott

Member, National Infrastructure Commission for Wales

Dewi Rowlands

Head of Transport Planning, Welsh Government

Dr Alasdair MacDonald

Programme Director, Wales, Balfour Beatty

Sarah Hopkins

Director, Cynnal Cymru


Councillor Brian Jones

Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, Denbighshire County Council

Councillor Caro Wild

Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning & Transport, Cardiff Council


Bill Kelly

Managing Director, Wales and Borders, Network Rail

Senior speaker confirmed from WSP

Councillor David A Bithell

Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Environment & Transport, Wrexham County Borough Council

Professor Mark Barry

Professor of Practice in Connectivity, Cardiff University and Strategic Advisor, Transport for Wales

Mike Payne

Senior Organiser, Wales & South West, GMB

Geoff Ogden

Corporate Services Director, Transport for Wales

Rupert Lugg

Director, Projects Team, Burges Salmon

Steve Ward

Decarbonisation Programme Manager, Transport for Wales

Senior speaker confirmed from Sustrans

Joseph Carter

Head of Devolved Nations, Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership and Chair, Healthy Air Cymru

Professor Karen Morrow

Professor of Environmental Law, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University and Founder Member, Global Network on Human Rights and the Environment

Gemma Lelliott

Support and Engagement Executive (South Wales), Community Transport Association

Richard Rowland

Customer Service & Operations Director, Great Western Railway