- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Assembly Business, Assembly Questions, Latest News, Press Releases
MIKE HEDGES CHALLENGES FIRST MINISTER ON TRANSPORT CONNECTIVITY IN SWANSEA.
Speaking after First Minister’s Questions at the Senedd, local Swansea East MS, Mike Hedges said… ‘ I have regular correspondence from people living in Swansea East who raise with me many examples of poor transport planning where busses do not connect properly with local and long distance train services.
The current system where bus services are run by private companies for profit and not public benefit and with little thought for linking with other transport operators is deeply unsatisfactory and I look forward to supporting the Welsh Government Bus Bill in due course.
I look forward to a time when we have a fully integrated transport system where bus, train, tram and light rail schemes compliment each other, and operate with one ticket system which will be accepted by all operators and with ease of use for the passenger at its core.’
Will the First Minister provide an update on Welsh Government action to improve public transport connectivity from Swansea? OQ58897
First Minister of Wales
I thank Mike Hedges, Llywydd. The creation of the South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee is key to improving public transport connectivity between Swansea and its partner authorities. That committee has met regularly in 2022, and Welsh Government officials will meet leaders of the CJC next week to take forward development of a regional transport plan.66
I thank the First Minister for that response. The published rail timetable for December 2022 didn’t have the 15:12 service from Llansamlet— this was added after I raised concerns under business questions. An issue I’ve raised previously is that First Cymru terminated the 33 bus in Frederick Place, which is 300 yd from Llansamlet station, which, in Swansea, can be a long way in the rain. What discussion has the Welsh Government had on the reintroduction of the X10 Swansea to Cardiff bus service and on an integrated train and bus service with one ticket for bus and train transport?67
First Minister of Wales
Well, Llywydd, first of all, I congratulate Mike Hedges on the success of his lobbying efforts on behalf of his constituents in Llansamlet. I know that Transport for Wales, who are responsible for the rail service, of course, that he mentioned, are working hard to try to make sure that there is an increased range and availability of integrated tickets to make it easier for people to make journeys by public transport. In the end, individual bus services under the current system remain the responsibility of individual operators. We know that the system, over many years, has put profitability before passenger need, and that is why this Government will bring forward a bus Bill in front of the Senedd to make sure that we have a different approach to the organisation of bus services in Wales, one that allows us to put people before profit and make sure that the extensive sums of money that the public invest in bus services in Wales reflect the public interest. Then we may see fewer of the sorts of difficulties that Mike Hedges has drawn our attention to this afternoon.