Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

National Assembly for Wales

Pwyllgor yr Economi, Seilwaith a Sgiliau

Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee

Datblygu Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn y dyfodol

The future development of Transport for Wales

EIS(5) FDTfW27

Ymateb gan Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Cymru

Evidence from Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Wales


Governance structures

·         CILT Cymru Wales sees the establishment of Transport for Wales (TfW) as a delivery body as a positive step in improving transport infrastructure and operations across Wales.

o   It can take a longer term view on transport investment providing the five year funding settlement is maintained.

o   It provides a degree of separation between policy making and its delivery.

o   Combined, these help to smooth out policy changes driven by political agendas.

o   Being a separate body means that it can have a focus purely on transport rather than the wider briefs within which transport sits.

·         Going forward, we would like to see TfW take on a role similar to that adopted by Transport for London (TfL), whereby a single organisation has oversight of the transport network in Wales

·         However, because TfW covers a larger geographical area and a broader range of journey types than TfL, there is also the need for more localised management of transport operations.

·         There are also questions around how certain transport operations (e.g. seaports and airports) might fit within this framework.

·         However, the Welsh Government should still provide the wider policy framework against which TfW and other organisations then seek to deliver.

Regional Transport Consortia/Joint Transport Authorities

·         The previous four Regional Transport Consortia generally proved to be effective in directing transport investment at a localised level. Each adopted approaches that were relevant to their geographical areas and recognising the differing transport requirements.

·         Therefore, CILT Cymru Wales would strongly advocate their re-introduction, but as Joint Transport Authorities, and are encouraged by the proposals in the current Welsh Government consultation on Improving Public Transport.

·         The Joint Transport Authorities must be endowed with sufficient resources, talent, skills and powers, including 5 year funding arrangements like TfW, to effectively carry out their duties and responsibilities.

·         Such a structure between Transport for Wales and local authorities provides a number of advantages:

o   The ability to provide solutions customised to the local operating environments

o   A reflection of the fact that many journeys do pass through more than one authority and therefore a coordinated approach is needed in the provision of these journeys

o   Providing some economies of scale in funding and expertise, especially where local authorities are small

o   Enables a structure for the retention and growth of specialist skills and a career path for such individuals.

o   Consistency with wider policy developments such as the City Deals in Cardiff and Swansea, the North Wales Growth Deal and the emerging Mid Wales Growth Deal.

·         There are, however, some potential disadvantages too:

o   Loss of localised insight into potential transport needs

o   A disconnect between land use planning activities (which are currently local authority based) and transport planning

o   An additional set of interfaces between local and national government which could cause delays to transport investment

o   A further reorganisation in transport policy may be disruptive, coming only 5 years after the disbandment of Regional Transport Consortia.

·         Wales is a small country and the relationships between the Welsh Government, TfW, Network Rail, Department for Transport, Joint Transport Authorities, Local Authorities and the Private Sector need to be carefully designed to ensure the scarce skills and talent is deployed to best effect.


Seaports and airports

·         Unlike other forms of public transport, where both infrastructure and operations are largely internal to Wales, seaports and airports have a different role and consideration is needed into how they align with transport policy making.

·         Both sea- and airports play important National roles (both Wales and UK) in improving connectivity and supporting the Welsh economy while at the same time making a local contribution through employment and their wider supply chains. They are also dependent upon the transport infrastructure in meeting their commercial objectives.

·         Policy making for these sectors should remain at Welsh Government level, but it is important that they have clear lines of communication into those delivering transport at a national and local level.

·         Equally, existing organisational structures around Cardiff Airport, being owned by the Welsh Government, should remain as these appear to be working effectively and enabling the airport to grow and develop new services.

·         However, we would suggest that management of the PSO air service between Cardiff and Anglesey be passed to TfW, so that the investment in that service can be balanced against competing needs from other modes.


Aligning transport policy making, infrastructure provision and operations

·         Based on the above, we would therefore suggest that the following may be an appropriate structure for transport in the future. In doing so, we recognise that there needs to be an inclusive approach taken, not just between policy makers at different levels, but also with operators.

o   The Welsh Government should continue to establish overall transport policy objectives, although specification of how these are to be achieved should pass to Transport for Wales. Arrangements for Cardiff Airport should remain as they are.

o   Transport for Wales should direct strategic investments that cover the connectivity of Wales as a whole. The current management of the Wales and Borders franchise is just one part of this. We would also advocate that management of both the TrawsCymru bus network and PSO air services also pass to TfW. Further, investment in the strategic road network in Wales could come under TfW’s jurisdiction. This would mean that investment trade offs between modes could be managed effectively. However, in doing so, the focus must not just be on cost but also the connectivity benefits that such investment brings.

o   Joint Transport Authorities would have responsibility for many of the local transport needs, including local bus services and local road development schemes. Active travel may also be best placed here, to benefit from centralisation as some local authorities lack the resources to support this work. The Joint Transport Authorities may also support local investment in rail services, through joint working with TfW. Consideration could also be given to taxi licencing being managed at this level, given concerns in the market around the differing standards required to get a licence. It may be that elements of land use planning activities also need to be considered to provide a high degree of joined up thinking.

o   Local authorities could retain an influence on local bus services and active travel provision, as well as oversight of road maintenance. Ensuring consistency with land use planning will also be an important role. However, it may be the case that the workload with these activities is sufficiently small that it is more efficient for Joint Transport Authorities to deliver these aspects.

·         What will be essential is that there is liaison between these different levels, and that this liaison includes operators and also infrastructure providers (e.g. seaports).

Transport policy and logistics

·         Transport policy often focuses upon individual modes and the needs of the public in making their journeys. However, it should be recognised that freight is also a major user of transport networks in Wales.

·         A feature of policy making, not just in Wales but across the UK and internationally, is that logistics operations are often forgotten and the needs of passengers increasingly put pressure on freight requirements. For example, while increasing numbers of passenger rail services are often desirable in terms of enabling the modal shift of passengers, these may take paths currently required by freight trains, leading to a modal shift to road for freight.

·         Therefore, it is important that TfW and the Regional Transport Consortia in particular engage with the sector to understand their requirements and constraints, and ensure that the logistics industry can continue to effectively support supply chains in Wales.

·         Within Wales, the Wales Freight Strategy of 2008 still represents the last strategy that considered freight transport holistically and is in need of urgent replacement, hopefully as part of the re-fresh of the Wales Transport Strategy.

·         This should include a formal Delivering a Better Service Plan for Freight, similar to the process being adopted by Highways England for freight users of the strategic road network. Such an approach should be extended to all modes to include the critical role that ports, airports and rail plays in the functioning of the Welsh and wider economies.

·         In support of this we would like to see areas such as Decarbonising Freight (all modes), Lorry Parking, Urban Freight Delivery, Rural Freight and the Value of Freight recognised – building on the work that Mid Wales has undertaken with the Marches LEP as part of its Freight and Logistics Strategy. This work should feed into the modelling and appraisal requirements of freight where it inputs into scheme investments.

·         In conclusion TfW should be given a specific remit for the delivery of a freight strategy for Wales in parallel the wider work on freight being conducted for other parts of the UK by Highways England and Network Rail. The emerging Wales Infrastructure Commission and Transport for Wales should take note of the emerging recommendations of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Future of Freight Study – whose Interim Recommendations were released in December 2018 with the final report expected in the first half of 2019. 


·         Currently, budgets for transport at a local authority level are determined on an annual basis. This has implications in terms of the investments that can be made, especially as transport schemes often take several years to implement.

·         Going forwards, we would advocate longer term budget planning for local developments, and providing this through the Joint Transport Authorities would be beneficial in ensuring investment is directed appropriately.

·         In terms of where funding is directed, there needs to be equity across transport modes. CILT members have particularly highlighted the bus industry as one where funding needs to be examined in more detail, especially given the significant contribution of this mode to public transport in Wales.

Talent development

·         One concern with the current state of transport policy making in Wales is the availability of talent to take the sector forwards. It has been noted that many local authorities have very small teams, sometimes just one individual. As a consequence of this, the opportunities of career progression within the public sector in Wales is limited, leading to individuals either leaving Wales or joining private sector organisations to further their careers. Equally, there are challenges in recruiting the brightest talent from universities.

·         The creation of Transport for Wales does start to address this issue. However, establishing Joint Transport Authorities will allow the creation of teams of policy makers, providing a more positive working environment and offering opportunities for progression.

·         As part of the development of transport planning in Wales, CILT would like to see the establishment of a specific skills academy at all levels from Apprenticeship to experienced hires (from other sectors) in transport related skills sets in Wales. This is a subject which is rarely mentioned yet is fundamental to the sustainability of improving the mobility outcomes for the citizens and industrial users in Wales. This should be across both public and private sectors to develop a pipeline of skills and talent for the future development of transport in Wales which is a critical enablement for the sustainability and growth of the Welsh Economy. Transport for Wales could take a leadership role in delivering this.