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DOUBLE SUCCESS FOR CAMBRIAN RAILWAYS PARTNERSHIP AT PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL AWARDS

The Cambrian Railways Partnership has won two prestigious national awards over the weekend at the ACORP (Association for Community Rail Partnerships) Award ceremony held at Swindon's STEAM museum.

The local rail partnership won awards for "Best Marketing Publication" for their "Wales on Rails" families' brochure which features suggestions of what to do on day outs in Aberystwyth, Machynlleth and Aberdyfi, and also the award in the "Involving Young People" category for their "First Class Safety" schools safety film which stars pupils from both Tywyn and Ardudwy (Harlech) high schools.

"We are delighted to have scooped not one but two awards," said the partnership's development officer Rhydian Mason.

"Wales on Rails" is an ideas and inspiration brochure that shows how family groups can spend a low-cost holiday in mid Wales by train. It features Machynlleth, Aberystwyth and Aberdyfi and focusses in on "quality family time" whilst on holiday.

"First Class Safety" is a guide to using the railway made initially for and with pupils from Ardudwy (Harlech) and Tywyn secondary schools. Development Officer Rhydian Mason went on to say that the both of the schools had played an important part in the making of the film, and that the film has already led to a number of unique and forward thinking initiatives in both of them.

"The awards are the result of us as a partnership being able to work together with all sorts of people and organisations, from film production companies and publishing houses to schools, tourism organisations and local attractions. It's what community based rail is all about," he added.

"We need to acknowledge a number of organisations who we've worked with to make these awards possible – TraCC (the mid Wales transport consortium), Mid Wales Tourism Partnership, Mid Wales Tourism, Network Rail, British Transport Police, Tywyn and Ardudwy Schools, AMP Productions from Aberystwyth, Good Journey Publications from Machynlleth, and all member organisations of the partnership that include Ceredigion, Powys, Gwynedd and Shropshire Councils as well as Arriva Trains Wales."

Ben Davies, Stakeholder Liaison Manager of Arriva Trains Wales said:

"The Schools video has been a partnership venture and a worthy winner, the video not only assists and introduces school children safely to the railway, but also shows the Cambrian line at its best, this mirrors the leaflet showing the Cambrian as a major tourist attraction in its self. Working with West Midlands and North West tourism, this will assist in highlighting the Cambrian as sustainable tourism destination."

Both the film and the brochure can be viewed at the Cambrian Railways Partnership's website at www.thecambrianline.co.uk

TraCC Publishes its Annual Progress Report for 2011/12

Trafnidiaeth Canolbarth Cymru (TraCC) is the local authority Regional Transport Consortium for Mid Wales.  Each year TraCC is required to prepare and submit to the Welsh Government an Annual Progress Report (APR) for its Regional Transport Plan (RTP) and it must follow Welsh Government Guidance on its content and layout.

Like the other three Welsh Regional Transport Consortia, TraCC published its Regional Transport Plan (RTP) in 2009 and was the result of extensive stakeholder and public consultation.  The RTP strategy document received Ministerial approval in December 2009 but the proposed Five Year Capital Funding Programme did not. 

The RTP Annual Progress Report (APR) for 2011/12 has now been submitted to the Welsh Government and has been published on the TraCC website.  This is the second year for which TraCC has published an RTP APR. 

TraCC receives grant funding from the Welsh Government to deliver transport schemes across the Mid Wales region.  Each year, TraCC must prepare and submit a Delivery Plan setting out how it proposes to spend the grant funding allocation made available by the Welsh Government to TraCC and its local authorities.  TraCC is responsible for developing and managing the delivery of regional grant funding programmes which currently include the following:

  • RTP Capital Grant;
  • RTP Revenue Grant;
  • Road Safety Capital Grant;
  • Road Safety Revenue Grant; and
  • Sustainable Travel Centre Revenue.

All other transport funding is currently provided to or allocated by the individual local authorities such as funding for local bus services.  The Welsh Government directly funds and manages improvements and maintenance on its Trunk Road network in association with its Trunk Road Agents.  Rail passenger services and infrastructure are generally funded by the Rail Industry, UK and Welsh Governments.  These organisations are separately required to monitor and report progress for these other very important areas of highways and transportation.

The TraCC RTP APR for 2011/12 once again shows that TraCC is very capable of managing the funding that is made available to it and indeed, being able to use any other funding that has been provided in addition to its original grant funding allocation.  TraCC has consistently said that it requires more funding than is currently provided to the Consortium.  Our success is the result of effective management of individual projects at a local authority level and effective scrutiny at the regional programme level.  The RTP APR continues to demonstrate that TraCC adds value to existing partnership arrangements in Mid Wales and has led on the development of new regional transport policies and project initiatives which benefit the people of Mid Wales.  The detailed RTP Monitoring Report is beginning to show good progress in meeting shared transport aims and objectives and positive trends.  There are however still a number of fundamental challenges that we must collectively work together to address in rural Mid Wales.  These include continuing to tackle social exclusion and improving access to essential services and opportunities - such as health, jobs, education and skills training. This will be set against a backdrop of increased pressure on national, regional and local budgets. We must all try to do more with less.

It is expected that next year's RTP APR will show further good progress and will reflect on what is already becoming a particularly busy and challenging year for TraCC and its local authorities.

The TraCC RTP Annual Progress Report for 2011/12, RTP APR Appendix and Executive Summary can all be viewed, printed and downloaded at:

TraCC Regional Transport Plan Annual Progress Report 2011/12

Welsh Government Consultation on Active Travel (Wales) Bill

The White Paper sets out proposals to require Local Authorities in Wales to:

  • identify and map the network of routes within their areas that are safe and appropriate for walking and cycling; 
  • identify and map the enhancements that would be required to create a fully integrated network for walking and cycling and develop a prioritised list of schemes to deliver the network; 
  • deliver an enhanced network subject to budget availability and following due process;
  • consider the potential for enhancing walking and cycling provision in the development of new road schemes.  

http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/transport/activetravelbill/?lang=en

Consultation - National Assembly for Wales Passenger Transport Users' Committee

The Public Transport Users' Committee are currently looking at integrated transport issues - how well it works across Wales, and how it can be improved.

They would be grateful for your help in this by sharing your views and if relevant actual experiences.

They ask that all of the completed questionnaires, and other contributions, are returned to them by the 31 August 2012.

The Questionnaire can be viewed at this link.

Aberystwyth to host free community event to celebrate launch of the Wales Coast Path

TraCC will be in Aberystwyth to mark the official opening of the Wales Coast Path at the launch event on Saturday May 5th which showcases the very best of the Welsh coast.

Members of the public are invited to attend and celebrate this exciting, Welsh landmark project.  The Wales Coast Path will run from the Welsh border, in the North, to Chepstow, in the South extending 870 miles (1400km).

The event will start at approximately 11.00am and will see performers such as the Côr Meibion Aberystwyth male voice choir, dance groups the Ravin Stompers and Aber Swing and the Arad Goch Theatre Company take to the main stage.  Children’s entertainment will include magic workshops and a story-teller telling tales of the coast.

We will also be there providing advice and information so come along and see us.

For more information on the event please download the programme or visit the Facebook page

* Click here for report