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Getting Wales moving forward

For years, the Welsh Government has prioritised the wrong sort of transport. Our buses and trains are too old, too slow, and too difficult to use. The Welsh Government has failed to invest sufficiently in sustainable rail and bus transport across Wales, while at the same time wasting £8 million of our money on subsidising the north-south airlink. We need to reorient this, and make it easier to use sustainable public transport, so that it can be used every day by everyone.

A reliable and integrated public transport network will improve the economy, reduce pollution and ensure sustainable travel options are more accessible to all. We will transform the way we plan and fund our transport infrastructure - cutting the number of organisations responsible and making sure we fund public, not private transport.

Rural transport is especially important. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will work to ensure good access to public transport, so that everyone can get involved economically and socially in their wider community and have access to local services and facilities. Community transport schemes are often a lifeline in rural areas, freeing the elderly or disabled from dependence and isolation.

The Liberal Democrats in Coalition have worked to electrify the Great Western Mainline from London to Swansea and the Valley lines network before 2024. We need to continue this investment with electrification of North Wales railways. This will provide an economic boost to North Wales by making it easier for businesses to invest in North Wales and for entrepreneurs in North Wales to trade elsewhere. Electrification will also mean CO2 emissions are 25% lower.

In government, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will prioritise:

  • Investing in rail transport by renegotiating the Arriva Trains Wales contract to improve train frequency and quality, and re-opening closed stations.
  • Electrifying railways in North Wales.
  • Scrapping the subsidy for the North-South airlink. We will also rule out subsidies for other airports or airlines in the next Assembly.
  • Improving the coverage of bus routes in rural and poorer areas by re-regulating the bus service, so that local authorities can ensure the whole community is served.
  • Ensuring safer bus stops with more information for visitors on public transport.
  • Reviewing the Local Transport Services Grant to ensure that money is spread fairly across Wales.
  • Finally introducing a Wales-wide Oystercard system, working with Arriva and bus companies to ensure that people can travel around Wales easily.
  • Investigating the best ways to lower ticket prices on buses and trains, to make travel easier for consumers.
  • Requiring the new Joint Transport Authorities to plan for community transport in their programme of work.
  • Implementing three-year budgeting for community transport schemes and ensuring prompt payments.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats would develop a national scheme for a young person's travel rate, to help them travel to their studies, employment and training. This will enable young people to make a greater contribution to the local economy, realise their goals, and help sustain bus services.

In Government, the Welsh Liberal Democrats would aim to bring forward a cost efficient scheme to realise these aims for the benefit of young people. We published a policy report A Concessionary Fare Scheme for Young People in Wales in March 2014, to set out some of the policy options.