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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 December 2004, 13:11 GMT
North-south air link 'for 2006'
Cardiff International Airport

A twice-daily air service linking north and south Wales has been proposed by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies said he was "keen to exploit the potential of air services" as part of a 15-year transport review.

The service between Swansea to Cardiff and RAF Valley on Anglesey is planned to start in 2006.

Roads leading to Cardiff International Airport will also be improved.

A stretch of the A48 and A4226, known as Five Mile Lane, which runs between Culverhouse Cross and the airport, will be improved to take traffic away from the the A4321 through the village of Wenvoe.

A new link from the M4 will also be investigated with a view to diverting traffic away from the busy Culverhouse Cross interchange.

The introduction of passenger services on the Vale of Glamorgan railway in spring 2005 and a dedicated airport bus link had been announced previously.

Mr Davies said: "Airports and air services have a vital role to play in the development of an integrated and sustainable transport system and I am keen to exploit the potential of air services in Wales.

There are many people that would desperately need to use (the air link) to enhance their personal life and to enhance their business activity
Ray Mann, AirNet Wales
"This service will result in improved business linkages, tourism opportunities, and significant time savings for travel between North and South Wales."

The minister said the idea of a "route development fund" was being investigated, which could then be used to subsidise new scheduled routes, particularly from Cardiff airport.

Ray Mann, chair of AirNet Wales, which represents the owners and operators of seven Welsh airports, said he believed there would be sufficient demand for a north-south air service.

"The train journey is a valid portion of the total infrastructure of transport.

"But difficulty of access south to north, or north to south, in Wales has been experienced by many people over the years.

"There are many, many people that would desperately need to use it both to enhance their personal life and to enhance their business activity."

WJ Williams, leader of Ynys Môn council, said: "This (service) will link north and south Wales and that's very important.

"After all, Cardiff is our capital city and the journey whether by road or rail is extremely slow."

He added that the development would help attract business and industry to Anglesey.

"This is a chance to bring the south and north closer.

"We usually complain about young people leaving home to get a better job and better pay but this is a chance to ensure they come back."


SEE ALSO:
M4 relief road plan unveiled
07 Dec 04 |  Wales
Airport rail link work begins
08 Jul 04 |  Wales


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