YOUR AM WRITES: South Wales East AM William Graham

Argus-Mark   Reporter-David  20-04-11
BMA Assembly elections hustings
William Graham (1307859)

Argus-Mark Reporter-David 20-04-11 BMA Assembly elections hustings William Graham (1307859)

First published in News

ANOTHER series of traffic queues stretching beyond junctions 24 and 28, prompted me to make a further request for a statement on the M4 Relief Road.

I hope that the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport will bring forward a statement, this summer, detailing a timetable for constructing the Relief Road.

There are two other transport and motor industry matters currently in the news that I wish to bring to your attention.

1. U-Turn on funding bus services: I am pleased that the Welsh Labour government has reversed its decision not to fully fund free bus travel and to revise their funding proposals for service operators.

In March the Minister announced that a new three-year budget would commence in July that would be 11 per cent lower than over the last three years.

Bus service operators immediately claimed the Welsh Government proposals were illegal and launched legal proceedings in the High Court. This action resulted in the Welsh Government revising their budget proposals.

They also announced a staged reduction in the amount they reimburse local authorities for the Welsh Government’s concessionary bus pass scheme. Surely it should fully fund the services it directs local authorities to provide.

I note that operators are now in the process of reorganising their services to meet the Welsh Government’s revised budget proposals. It is vital that the Welsh Government acts to ensure rural services are maintained and that we move towards greater integration of our public transport network.

2. Circuit of Wales, Ebbw Vale: If this proposal is feasible, it offers the potential to regenerate Ebbw Vale and the Heads of the Valleys region. I believe this is a very positive proposal that must be given detailed consideration.

If it is determined to be a sound investment, it offers an opportunity to transform Ebbw Vale and create employment opportunities across the entire jobs spectrum, in a way few regeneration projects proposed for this region planned to achieve.

It will not only compliment the Enterprise Zone, which borders the circuit site, which has already been determined to focus upon the motor industry. It will extend employment opportunities in retail, leisure, tourism and service sectors.

There are many major obstacles to overcome if this project is to come to fruition. I am working to facilitating this becoming a reality and able to contribute to the considerations of how we meet these challenges and how the widest potential of this project maybe realised.

If there are any issues you wish to bring to my attention, please email william.graham@wales.gov.uk

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