New maps reveal scale of £1bn Welsh Metro megaproject

by Sion Geschwindt
A metro tunnel under construction

The Welsh government’s deputy minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, has unveiled new maps detailing the enormous scale of a £1bn Welsh Metro project.

The minister, who is also responsible for transport, said it will be one of the ‘most ambitious and complex’ programmes the Welsh government has ever undertaken.

welsh-metro-project-rail-railway
Credit: Transport for Wales

The project aims to deliver on plans set out in Llwybr Newydd, the Wales Transport Strategy for 2021, by creating a modern, integrated, and sustainable transport network.

The new maps, made available for the first time yesterday, illustrate the ambitious short and longer term plans that the programme will deliver.

The options include:

  • 172km of electrification to improve journey times and frequency
  • Up to 30% more services to improve connectivity across Wales, such as new tram-trains offering fast turn-up-and-go services at 45 stations on Valleys Lines by 2024
  • New and improved rail and bus services and active travel routes to reduce rural isolation, provide a door-to-door commuting experience and open up job, business and leisure opportunities across North Wales
  • New integrated tickets and more flexible fare options delivered through new technology on all buses and more than 200 new ticket machines at stations
  • New and improved train stations across Wales to provide a viable public transport alternative to the congested road network
  • 100% renewable energy powering overhead wires to reduce carbon footprint
  • Promoting careers in engineering for children and women, providing job opportunities for veterans, and creating pathways to help offenders with their rehabilitation into stable and rewarding employment

‘Not simply a transport project’ 

Waters said: “The Metro is not simply a transport project; it’s about changing the lives of people across Wales and is an excellent example of how investment in tackling climate change has far broader community benefits.

“Improving our public transport and active travel network routes is the right and responsible thing to do for the environment – making low-carbon transport options more attractive, affordable, and easier to use – enabling people to leave their car at home, particularly in the more densely populated parts of Wales, linking up with active travel routes to provide door-to-door journeys in an integrated, sustainable transport network.

“Next month we will be attending COP26 – the most important COP since Paris in 2015 – and we will take a clear message to Glasgow that Wales is a globally responsible nation.

“Ambitious projects like this prove that, and show how, everyone here is willing to play a part to combat global warming.”

Main image: Lex Shi/Shutterstock


Read next: Scottish £63m rail electrification programme approved

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