Transport government, planning and delivery in Wales

The Welsh Government is the executive for areas of public policy that have been devolved from the UK government (transport, health, justice/police, environment, housing and some taxation) and is led by the First Minister, Mark Drakeford AM.

Transport is devolved in Wales to the Executive, with the exception of aviation and shipping. Most non-devolved transport powers are for where there is a need for consistent provision of treatment and approach between Wales and the rest of the UK. More details are here, including a downloadable report.

Transport is headed by the Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates AM supported by Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters AM

In March 2021 the Welsh Government published its Transport Strategy. Called  ‘Llwybr Newydd’ [New Path] – the Welsh Government says it is taking the first steps on a longer journey.

Transport for Wales (TfW) is the public body that is the executive agency of the Welsh Government, and accountable to Welsh Ministers. It provides technical advice, including transport modelling and land-use planning  to allow the Welsh Government to develop policy. It runs the Wales and Borders rail franchise (under the brand name TfW Rail), which was brought in-house by the Welsh Government in 2020. It also plans and contracts a long-distance bus network Traws Cymru.

Trunk roads are managed by two agencies whose role is to maintain and deliver improvements on the strategic road network:

  • South Wales Trunk Road Agent (SWTRA
  • North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent (NMWTRA

Traffic Wales is the Welsh Government’s public traffic information service for motorways and trunk roads delivered. It is jointly delivered by the two Trunk Road Agencies.

Local roads maintenance (including bus stop provision) is the responsibility of Wales’ 22 single-tier (unitary) local authorities

Future Generations The Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, is legislation requiring public bodies including Welsh Government to put long-term sustainability at the forefront of their thinking and decision making. It created the post of Future Generations Commissioner, and resulted in its 803-page The Future Generations Report 2020. One of the key recommendations was to set a target for a modal shift to sustainable transport. Full report here

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