The Urban Transport Group (UTG) has expanded its reach after Transport for Wales (TfW) became latest member, joining its 13-strong network of transport authorities.
The not-for-profit company will work to help drive forward the Welsh government’s vision of a high quality, safe, integrated, affordable and accessible transport network.
Other UTG members include Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, London, Sheffield City Region, Tyne and Wear, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire, and Associate Members in Strathclyde, the West of England, Tees Valley, Nottingham and Northern Ireland.
TfW was established in 2016 and took over running the Wales and Borders rail service in 2018.
It is investing £5 billion from 2018-2033 to improve the frequency and quality of rail services.
Last November, TfW revealed its sustainability goals, including for electricity for stations and overhead wires on the Core Valley Lines to be 100% renewable (with at least 50% sourced in Wales) by 2026.
Stephen Edwards, chair of the UTG and executive director at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “I’m pleased to welcome TfW as an Associate Member of UTG.
“At a time when public transport faces increasingly tough challenges, it has never been more important for transport authorities to work together to share expertise and find the solutions to overcome them.
“TfW has a unique perspective on delivering transport services, including in the major centres of Cardiff and Swansea, and has already achieved a lot in its short history. By joining our professional network, they will add real value to our work and I look forward to collaborating closely with them.”
James Price, TfW chief executive, said: “Our goal is to keep Wales moving and to deliver a transport network that our country can be proud of.
“I believe that accessing expertise and learning from the experiences of other transport authorities around the UK through the Urban Transport Group will be a real asset to the achievement of that goal.”
As part of TfW's plans, it will:
- Transform the South Wales Metro through a three quarter of a billion project, making it easier for people to travel across the Cardiff Capital Region through an integrated rail, bus and active travel network. As part of the project, TfW will electrify around 170 km of track, build at least five new stations and construct a new £100 million depot and Metro Control Centre in Taff’s Well, Rhondda Cynon Taff.
- Invest £800 million in new faster, greener trains for the South Wales Metro and the Wales and Borders rail service, as well as investing £40 million in its current fleet.
- Implement a station improvement vision, investing in all 247 railway stations across Wales.