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Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 10:58 GMT
130m transport boost announced
Bus
Local transport schemes are being targeted
A 130m boost for public transport in Wales has been announced by the Welsh Assembly's Environment Minister Sue Essex.

The cash will be added to the 300m five-year programme that was unveiled by the assembly in January 2001.

Sue Essex, Minister for Environment
Sue Essex, Minister for Environment
The investment will target five new road schemes, as well as money for public transport improvements.

The road schemes supported by the money include new routes at Port Talbot, Bargoed, Ammanford, Pembroke and the A499 on the Lleyn Peninsular.

"Work on the projects will start over the next five years, subject to the satisfactory completion of design and feasibility studies and the completion of statutory procedures," said Ms Essex.

An allocation of 2.7m has also been given to support 22 projects of the Safe Routes to School initiative, which aims to provide environment and child-friendly transport.

"As well as tackling congestion caused by the school run we are helping to improve the health and independence of children in Wales," said Ms Essex.

Four innovative public transport projects are also backed, including Cardiff's ULTra driverless cab system which is already being trialled.

Road schemes

The five road schemes that are supported in the plans are designed to ease traffic congestion and provide safer and easier access.

In south Wales, a link road between Margam and Port Talbot will seek to take traffic away from the residential A48 and provide access to the docks and steelworks.

The project is currently estimated to cost 66m.

ULTra car on the test track in Cardiff Bay
The ULTra car is on test in Cardiff Bay
In Bargoed, a 17.4m scheme will provide cycle and pedestrian routes, a new bus station and improved integration with the rail service.

Elsewhere, an estimated 6.5m has been earmarked to take traffic out of Pembroke Town.

Approximately 12.6m of improvements on the A499 between Aberdesach and Llanaelhaearn, Gwynedd, are also designed to improve tourist access and safety to the Llyn Peninsula.

Finally, a 3m distributor road in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, will provide new access to development land and the Bettws Industrial Estate.

When details were released of the first part of the programme in January 2001, the flagship project was the reopening of the Vale of Glamorgan rail link.

The first passengers are expected to travel on this link in the spring of 2002.

See also:

17 Jan 02 | Wales
Supertram test to ease traffic
17 Jan 02 | UK
Do trams beat the jams?
11 Dec 01 | England
Train plans on track
19 May 01 | Scotland
Tram plans are discussed
20 Apr 01 | UK
Could the UK go car-free?
11 Jan 02 | England
New CCTV for vandal-hit metro
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