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This conference focused on the way forward for transport in Wales.
It was an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss progress and next steps for Llwybr Newydd, which sets out the Welsh Government strategy with ambitions for:
- access to services and reducing the need to travel
- sustainable transport and improving the accessibility of electric vehicles
- coordinated infrastructure development, and the review of the road network
- reliability and accessibility of public transport across Wales, especially in rural areas, and customer experience
Delegates looked at what steps will be needed if these aims are to be achieved - as well as further measures that can be taken by both the Welsh Government and key stakeholder groups to improve transport provision in Wales.
We also expected discussion on the impact of further Welsh Government policy initiatives, including the Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy for Wales, Net Zero Wales, and the Wales Roads Review.
Overall, sessions in the agenda looked at:
- Llwybr Newydd implementation - key challenges - investment and support - stakeholder roles and responsibilities - reversing the decline in public transport during the pandemic
- sustainability - net-zero targets - issues, opportunities and barriers - achieving emissions reduction - electric vehicle rollout - delivery of charging infrastructure to meet anticipated need
- needs of communities - accessibility - affordability - reliability - community engagement and influence - new trends and work patterns - concerns such as South Wales Metro facilities
- the Roads Review - looking ahead to the final report and priorities - investment - road capacity and usage - environmental impact - safety - future-proofing - assessment of key projects
- implementation and delivery challenges - the impact of the pandemic - labour and materials shortages - achieving a joined-up approach - effective project management
- next steps for policy - priorities for sector and community stakeholders - achieving the ambition for a transport system that will support prosperity and wellbeing across Wales into the future
We are pleased to have been able to include a keynote session with Geoff Ogden, Director for Planning, Development & Advisory Services, Transport for Wales; as well as contributions from Arup; Cardiff Bus; Cardiff University; Centre for Alternative Technology; Energy Saving Trust; Jacobs; Network Rail; Riversimple; Sustrans Cymru; Transport Focus; and Wyeval Consulting.
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the Welsh Government; Audit Wales; DfT; DWP; and the ORR - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.