VIDEO: Action plan to improve bus and train services across city
SWANSEA councillors have come up with a 13-point action plan for improving bus and train services across the county.
A report from members on the scrutiny inquiry into public transport and social inclusion concluded that good public transport links were vital in helping make Swansea a better place in which to work, live and visit.
One of the most far reaching recommendations is that the council should look at the feasibility of introducing a so-called Quality Contract scheme, similar to the one which operates in London, where a Swansea transport authority sets routes, fares and timetables and private bus companies run services under contract.
The report also recommends that the council reviews how it allocates the cash it gives through its transport subsidy, and should try to integrate community transport into the public transport network, as well as ensuring all bus stops are fully disabled accessible.
Presenting the report, Councillor John Newbury, who led the inquiry, said: "Public transport affects the council's ability to achieve many of its policy ambitions to make Swansea a better place to live, work and visit.
"Good public transport links are vital to move people around Swansea to enable them to work, engage in education and training, feel part of their communities, enjoy leisure and cultural activities, visit family and friends, do their shopping and spend money in the local economy.
"We concluded that all public transport providers, including community transport providers and the council, would need to work together in a much smarter and innovative way.
"Specifically, we need to get people into jobs, especially our young people, which will support our economy, and for this they need good public transport links including evening and weekend services. The council can help to achieve this by looking at how it uses its funding to subsidise the local bus network. This needs to be a priority."
During the inquiry the members took evidence from a range of sources including First Cymru, Arriva Trains Wales, the Community Transport Association, Action for Children, Professor Stuart Cole — a transport economist at the University of Glamorgan — and West Yorkshire Metro, which operates a Quality Contracts system.
Among the other recommendations from the inquiry are to require all new housing and commercial developments to "enable and encourage public transport usage", to take up First Cymru's offer for traffic wardens to travel on buses to target hot-spots, and to lobby the Welsh Government to introduce an integrated ticketing system.
David Philips, leader of Swansea Council, welcomed the report and said that many of the ideas — such as Quality Bus Contracts — were part of the Labour administrations's manifesto.
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