Letter to Cllr, Caro Wild, Cabinet member for transport.
To: Cllr, Caro Wild, Cabinet member for transport.
Date 27th October 2017
Subject :- South East Wales Transport Model
Dear Cllr. Wild,
I attended the public launch at C-Plan on 19th October 2017 of a mathematical model of the transport network for SE Wales. This model has been developed for the Welsh Government (the owner) by a consortium led by Mott Macdonald (Paul Chase) and Arup (Andrew Bamforth), leading companies in the transport industry and Wales in particular. This model has been accompanied by a massive data collection exercise over the last year or two that describes the entire network and its’ capacities, from Port Talbot to Newport and as far north as the heads of the Valleys. It includes a land use analysis as well as the transport mode interactions, and is derived from an existing model (Prism) currently in use in the East Midlands.
The applications it is designed to evaluate were listed as highway schemes, Passenger Transport schemes, demographic changes and employment changes. As such it is clearly relevant to the selection of partner for the Rail Franchise including Metro; submissions by the four consortia are due by end December and Ken Skates AM confirmed on the BBC news on 25th October that the selection will be made by March 2018.
In response to my question and a follow up by Cardiff Bus (Richard Davies, Operations and Commercial Director) the model creators confirmed that the model was eminently suitable for evaluating the transport consequences of the LDP. Thus, the congestion (and by implication the pollution) evolution and implications on the bus service and capacity can be measured over time as the city grows, so we can understand better how to resolve any issues arising. As such it can provide an objective measure of the effectiveness of the schemes put forward as part of your Green Paper on possible methods of Transport Network evolution in Cardiff, which you have undertaken to produce by March 2018. It is unfortunate that the results of the WG franchise discussions will not be known until the same date, as the availability of Metro as a contributor will surely be a critical component of any solution for the city.
I urge you therefore to initiate discussions now to be able to use the model as part of the evaluation of the Green Paper options. Fortunately, one of the council officers (Mr. Jason Dixon) was present and has clearly been involved in the model development. CCS is not alone in our concern that congestion and pollution will inevitably result from the planned growth unless public transport capacity is increased significantly, concentrated as it is down the main, constricted, arterial routes into the city; this is an objective way of evaluating proposals and adequate capacity to ensure improvement. This letter will be posted on the CCS website, and is thus in the public domain.
I look forward to your reply and news of the plans for use of this valuable tool. We will continue to support your efforts to determine how the city network can best evolve in the face of such challenges.
Cardiff Civic Society