Today is the start of Better Transport Week – a week-long celebration of sustainable transport focusing on different transport themes each day.
‘Rail Day’ was launched in Wales by Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters and representatives from the Campaign for Better Transport were given the opportunity to see and hear about the railway revolution in Wales.
Transport for Wales (TfW) has started to introduce three types of new train to the Wales and Borders network this year, as part of a £800 million investment into new rolling stock.
The Class 197 train was the first and will become the backbone of TfW’s services across the length and breadth of the network. The Class 231 Fast Light Intercity and Trains (FLIRTs) were second, signifying the start of the South Wales Metro and following this was the introduction of the Class 230s in North Wales.
The billion-pound South Wales Metro project, that will electrify the South Wales valley lines, is also well-underway, with the first phase of electrification having started this month. Over the coming weeks, the new tram-trains will be tested and these will become the first light rail vehicles in Wales providing greener and faster travel.
The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “I am pleased to be welcoming Campaign for Better Transport to Cardiff today. Our transport system is entering a period of transformational changes and I am delighted to be able to showcase some of the work that is taking place to create a more sustainable transport network across Wales.”
Silviya Barrett, Director of Policy and Research at the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “We’re really pleased to be here in Wales today to launch Better Transport Week. Wales has forged ahead with transport policies that champion sustainable transport to improve lives and we are delighted to be here in Cardiff, celebrating sustainable transport through the first ever Better Transport Week.
“The sheer number of partners that have pledged support for the week, from central and local government, industry and business, to NGOs and passenger groups, shows just how important and valuable sustainable transport is.”
Alexia Course, Chief Commercial Officer said: “Better Transport Week is a focus on sustainable transport and within Wales we’re implementing a programme of transformational change that will create a more sustainable transport network.
“We’ve now started to introduce brand-new trains to our network as part of our commitment to improving the journey experience for our customers. Over the coming months and years, we’ll continue to progressively introduce more, and this will totally transform our rail network. Within a few years, 95% of journeys on our Wales and Borders network will be on a new train.”
Image credit: TfW