Welsh Conservatives Criticize Labour Government's Transport Policies

The Welsh Conservatives criticize the Labour government's handling of public transport, calling for a review of road building bans, 20mph limits, and more investment in buses and trains to address the "North-South transport divide" in Wales.

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Ayesha Mumtaz
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Welsh Conservatives Criticize Labour Government's Transport Policies

Welsh Conservatives Criticize Labour Government's Transport Policies

The Welsh Conservatives have launched a scathing attack on the Welsh Labour Government's handling of public transport funding and timetable changes. Led by their shadow transport minister Natasha Asghar MS, the Conservatives argue that the £125 million bailout given to Transport for Wales (TfW) should deliver much-needed improvements to transport services across the country.

Last year, TfW services faced over a million minutes of delays, prompting Asghar to call for "urgent action" to improve the situation for commuters. The Conservatives also criticized the Labour Government for policies like 20mph speed limits and a halt on investment into new road projects, which they claim "continue to punish commuters."

In response to the criticism, TfW stated that they are reviewing their "longer-term rail timetable commitments" to balance the needs for a regular, robust, and reliable service within their budgets and against their targets to deliver more sustainable transport. The revised timetable aims to better align with the travel habits of customers and become a truly multimodal operator, resulting in demand-driven growth across both bus and rail sectors.

However, some older commitments for more services on certain routes have been deferred, indicating a down-the-line approach from TfW to increase efficiency and save costs while hopefully delivering the improvements that the Conservatives and Welsh commuters hope to see.

The Welsh Conservatives are bringing a motion in the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) calling on the Labour government to scrap their road building ban, 20mph speed limits, and to invest more in public transport to make buses and trains more competitive with traveling by car. They claim that the Labour government's policies are preventing people in Wales from going about their daily lives and that there is a "North and South transport divide" in Wales, with £50 million allocated to the North Wales Metro and over £1 billion to the South Wales Metro.

Natasha Asghar MS criticized the Welsh Labour Government's "anti-motorist agenda," stating that the lack of investment in public transport, road building ban, and 20mph speed limits are preventing people in Wales from going about their daily lives. The Welsh Government responded that the Cabinet Secretary will be engaging with elected representatives, businesses, and communities across Wales in the coming weeks to listen and support the 20mph policy.

In the Senedd debate, the Welsh Conservatives will argue for a review of the current road building tests, a reversal of the 20mph speed limit order, and more investment in public transport. They believe these measures are necessary to address what they see as the Labour government's "lackluster transport policies" that are holding Wales back .

A TfW spokesperson said, "While we will be running 87 more services than when we took over in 2018, some older commitments for more services on certain routes have been deferred. This indicates a down-the-line approach to increase efficiency and save costs while working to deliver the improvements that commuters hope to see."

Key Takeaways

  • Welsh Conservatives criticize Labour govt's handling of public transport funding
  • TfW reviewing timetables to balance service, budget, and sustainability targets
  • Conservatives call to scrap 20mph limits, road building ban, and invest in public transport
  • Claim of "North-South transport divide" with more funding for South Wales Metro
  • TfW to run 87 more services but defer some commitments to increase efficiency