Talking on the North Wales metro system, the economy and transport secretary, Ken Skates, says the new system ‘will deliver’. Including a mixture of trams, upgraded railway stations and better bus services, the scheme promises to create better links into Wales; something Skates believes to be vital for post-Brexit Wales.
Having been referred to as a ‘missed opportunity’, the proposed map has been criticised for excluding Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy. However, Skates promises the £50m ‘Moving North Wales Forward’ plan to encourage economic growth across the whole of Wales.
The economy secretary also announced a public consultation would be held into the future of bus services across Wales.
“It is a major long term scheme which will unlock the potential of the economy and meet the expectations of people who wish to use public transport, but at the moment find there are too many barriers to doing so.” he said.
“There is huge potential to deliver increased economic growth in north Wales. A modern, high quality integrated transport system is fundamental to achieving that potential and I am committed to working to make that a reality.”
With 20,000 workers crossing the border from England into Wales each day, need for an updated system has been identified by Welsh Government, with Skates defining a need for more “rural solutions” for the North West.
But the Tory’s North Wales spokesperson Mark Isherwood said:
“This announcement is a smokescreen for the Welsh Government’s failure to deliver what the region really needs, which is meaningful progress on the North Wales Growth Deal.
“Conferring greater powers on North Wales is a crucial and necessary step to reinvigorating the North Wales economy, yet the Welsh Government appears reluctant to put more power in the hands of local people.”