Agenda item

Transport Grants

Christian Schmidt, Transport Projects and Programmes Manager


The Transport Projects and Programmes Manager explained how grants are allocated by Welsh Government for Active Travel.  The County will receive core allocation of £235,000 for scheme development and smaller schemes which can be spent across key settlements.


Additionally, the authority is entitled to submit bids for 3 more Active Travel schemes.  It is proposed to submit bids for packages of schemes relating to:


·         Caldicot Town

·         Monmouth Town

·         Usk Town Centre


With regard to the Local Transport Fund Grant, bids have been invited for existing schemes plus one new scheme.  A continuing scheme is Monmouth/Wye Bridge Junction (3rd Lane), for which the materials were bought and are in storage then no funding was awarded for this financial year.  Consequently, a further bid will be submitted.  Funding is also sought to contribute towards the Chepstow Transport Study. 


Ultra Low Emissions Fund where bids are invited for Electric vehicles (the detail is non-specific, and unclear if it includes charging points) by 14th February 2020 which may be difficult to achieve.  The fund used to purchase the 65 Bus is not now available unfortunately. 


The Cardiff City Region Transport Authority is submitting bids to the Metro Plus Programme to extend the benefits of the Metro to areas not benefitting from the rail franchise.


MCC has submitted a bid for Severn Tunnel Junction (STJ) Station upgrade to include funding to deliver the car park extension, footbridge extension, safer access routes and better passenger facilities.  Additionally, MCC will be proceeding with the missing elements of the footpath between Undy and Rogiet to also link with the STJ project.


Information was provided that there will be a Metro Phase 2, and bids will be submitted as follows, and in priority order:


      Further development of Magor Walkway Station;

      Abergavenny Station Interchange and Improvements;

      Chepstow Station Interchange and Improvements;

      Chepstow – Newport Bus Corridor ,

      Chepstow, Monmouth and Abergavenny Bus Corridor


Bid outcomes should be available by 31st March 2020.  It is likely that there will be part funding awarded and decisions on priorities may have to be considered in due course. 


There is also a regional grant for supporting bus services and the enhancement of community transport for all councils; Monmouthshire CC is the lead authority.


More information will be provided when available.  Questions were asked as follows:


      It was asked if there was any scope to add a cross border element to Active Travel bids referencing the possibility of opening the Tidenham Tunnel to Chepstow (some match funding for a cross border project may be available).  It was explained that Active Travel bids are limited to three and currently Chepstow is outside of the three projects identified.  Whilst it was recognised that the core allocation is quite committed, a note was made of the idea and also it was suggested that this could be added into the Chepstow Road Study engagement process.

      An update was requested on the proposed Llanfoist Bridge.  Also, a request was made to consider arrangements to enable students to cycle safely to the redeveloped King Henry VIII School, and to encourage residents generally to use Active Travel routes.  Active Travel routes for the new school will be funded from core allocation. The authority is seeking funding for further development work.  It was noted that a new Active Travel Officer has been appointed.  It was explained that the integrated maps will have to be reviewed this year.  Regarding Llanfoist Bridge, it was confirmed that discussions are still in progress with Natural Resources Wales.

      There was no update on the towpath at Gilwern; this query will be passed to the Active Travel Officer.

      A question was asked about Magor Walkway Station, and the potential to alleviate the parking situation in Rogiet by 30% as passengers would be able to walk to the station.  It was reported that it has been difficult to gain support from Welsh Government for the Grip 3 study and queried if there are other avenues for match funding. It was confirmed that under the Metro Phase 2, Magor Station is the main scheme but partners are needed to work with us.  Network Rail is conducting a Metro enhancement framework study and the authority has made clear that Magor station is a key project to consider.  If the project is shortlisted, development funding would be committed.

      A further comment was made about the need to extend the car park at STJ as there are significant problems with parking not least at the School.  The authority is trying to deliver a 150 space car park.  Grand Union Trains could deliver this scheme but it will also be added to Metro enhancement framework study. 

      The Officer clarified that the £235,000 for Active Travel is for all Monmouthshire and is core allocation (guaranteed for scheme development and small schemes).  This amount is separate from schemes that are for submission of bids.