gb-tfw-Mark 4s Holyhead

UK: A North Wales Transport Commission has been formed to develop a pipeline of rail, road, bus and active travel schemes for the A55 corridor between Cheshire and Holyhead, the Welsh government has announced.

A multimodal review of the corridor was recommended by the Welsh government’s Roads Review Panel and the Union Connectivity Review undertaken by Network Rail Chair Sir Peter Hendy.

It will follow the model of the commission set up after the cancellation of the M4 relief road in southeast Wales, and will also be led by Lord Terry Burns, former Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury.

‘If we are serious about facing up to the climate emergency, we have to be willing to do things differently, and critically to give people across north Wales genuine alternatives to using their cars for most journeys’, said the Welsh government’s Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, on February 10. ‘As well as looking at the A55 corridor, the North Wales Transport Commission will also look at how we can improve sustainable transport options in rural areas. This will need a shift of investment towards public transport and I’m very pleased Lord Burns has agreed to lead a panel of local experts to set out a detailed list of projects that will be needed to make this a reality.’

The announcement was welcomed by the Growth Track 360 group of business and local authority leaders which lobbies for better cross-border transport in the region.

Chair Louise Gittins said north Wales and northwest England form ‘a highly integrated cross-border economy’, and ‘it is critical that we develop viable and effective sustainable transport alternatives to cars and HGVs’.

Vice-Chair Ian Roberts said Growth Track 360 has ‘ready-to-go plans’ for investment on the North Wales Main Line, the Wrexham – Bidston line and at Shotton and Chester stations.