Cardiff and South Wales could be on the verge of receiving a huge investment in infrastructure to the tune of a new £600 million transport system.
The news follows a recent announcement that plans for a South Wales Metro have received backing from Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones, and are likely to gather pace in 2016.
The proposed plans would see vast developments to road and rail networks across Cardiff and the South Wales region, resulting in an improved public transport system that would deliver faster, more frequent journeys.
The Metro project is likely to see upgrades to train and bus services across South Wales, while the city of Cardiff will benefit from the introduction of a Bus Rapid Transit system and improved light rail operations.
There is also the possibility of trams being introduced to the Welsh capital, a form of transport that has proved popular in other UK cities, such as Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield.
The Metro project could signify a positive step forward for the economy of Cardiff and the Valleys and has been hailed as a “catalyst” for economic growth by Carwyn Jones.
Investors and associates of the impending transport scheme are hoping that it will provide the means for South East Wales to become an economic powerhouse within the UK.
In theory, the Metro will link people across the region with jobs, whilst making it easier for people who live in the area to move around, as well as improving Cardiff and South Wales’ image, increasing its potential to attract tourists.
While many people are excited about the new proposals, some are referring to Edinburgh’s failed tram system as evidence that large investments in public transport infrastructure are not always successful.
The Edinburgh scheme saw £776 million spent on one tram line from the airport to the city centre, with the project finishing £375 million over budget. The end result provided little benefit to the local population, and was deemed an overall failure.