First minister takes charge of faltering Welsh Metro project


The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, is now leading the South East Wales Metro programme, following complaints about slow progress and lack of clarity on delivery.

The current transport minister, Edwina Hart, will leave the National Assembly for Wales in May. Mr Jones’ leadership will therefore provide continuity, provided that Labour remains in government after the election.

The flagship Metro programme is said to have a price tag of over £1bn in total. Phase 1 was awarded £77m by the Welsh Government, Phase 2 is planned to cost up to £600m, primarily for electrifying the local railways.

A Welsh Government spokesman told Transport Network: ‘The South Wales Metro is among the major strategic and transformational priorities of the Welsh Government and so, naturally, is being led by the first minister.

'The Metro is a government-wide priority and the first minister is working closely with the minister for economy, science and transport and other ministers.’

The news follows dissatisfaction from senior figures in local government and elsewhere with Metro’s progress.

Critics have included Elizabeth Haywood, who chaired the Welsh Government’s City Regions Task and Finish Group, and a think-tank group chaired by Gerald Holtham, who led the Commission on Welsh public funding.

Welsh transport expert, Prof Stuart Cole, of the University of South Wales, said: ‘I can see the logic, if Edwina is going to retire. It [the Metro] is an expensive long-term project.’

He said Mr Jones’ leadership could also help overcome the constraints of the Government’s limited transport budget.

‘If you move it out of the transport budget to the budget the first minister has, he has a call on everybody’s budget, if that’s what the Government wants to do,’ he said.

Prof Cole added dealing with the Metro separately was sensible in one respect, but stated: ‘We’ve still got this issue of the Metro being seen as one item and the two big road schemes – the M4 Relief Road at Newport and dualling the A465 Heads of the Valleys road – as something different. I would want to see both of them integrated.’


Also see

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council