With Welsh transport set to enjoy a new lease of life over the course of the next five years, the need for a new promises for Transport for Wales has been identified. Set to be headquartered in Pontypridd, the Welsh Government says the area is “ideally located” on the Metro network.
From the new set up, the organisation will oversee the next Welsh rail franchise and the South Wales Metro, with the move bringing hundreds of jobs to the area.
Announced by Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, Transport for Wales will be based at the new Taff Vale regeneration site in Pontypridd, along with the company that wins the franchise; a contract that will be awarded in 2018.
Currently assessing bids by four companies to operate train services in Wales and services on the South Wales Metro, Welsh Government claim to be well on schedule. Speaking ahead of a speech on Welsh economic policy at Coleg y Cymoedd, Mr Skates said:
“This is great news for the town but it needs to be the start of something bigger.
“We need to work with partners in the local authority, the private sector as well as local colleges and universities to ensure this injection of jobs becomes a spark for wider local regeneration and prosperity.”
“Since 2010 our approach has focussed on developing key sectors of our economy on a national basis,” Mr Skates said.
“This has resulted in some stunning successes, particularly in advanced manufacturing areas like aerospace and in the creative industries.”
But he said the growth of those sectors and the skilled jobs they have created “have not fallen equally across Wales”.
“I believe we need to take a new approach by developing the competitive edge of each region of Wales more fully,” Mr Skates said.
“This will mean empowering each region to develop its own specialised sectors and more distinct economic identities”.