THE LOCAL and regional transport projects that Merthyr Tydfil Council is applying for Welsh Government funding for this year have been revealed.
A report approved by cabinet on Wednesday, April 19, said that the council submitted bids to the Welsh Government for Transport Funding in February 2023 for several local and regional transportation projects and programmes.
The council has bid for £10.604m from Welsh Government for the Local Transport Fund, Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Transformation Fund, Resilient Roads Fund and the Active Travel Fund.
On local schemes, the council has bid for £350,000 for the upgrade of bus stop infrastructure on two routes leading to the new Merthyr Tydfil bus station.
The funding will provide new bus boarding platforms, bus stop flags and poles, and bus shelters where appropriate.
The council has also bid for £400,000 to the Resilient Roads Fund. This will enable the council to continue delivering projects that mitigate and adapt the effects of climate change, including addressing disruptions caused on the highway network by severe weather.
The proposed schemes focus on drainage improvements on the county borough’s highway network.
The council has also bid for a total of £4.87m from the Active Travel Fund 2023/24 for core active travel work, including scheme development, minor scheme improvements and delivery of the active travel network map schemes.
The main scheme priority will be to continue the development and delivery of a network of walking and cycling routes focussed in and around the town centre whilst other development work will look at A465 links, Abernant Tunnel and upgrading opportunities on the Taff and Trevithick Trails.
In February 2023, the Welsh Government contacted councils to explore new ways of delivering active travel projects.
They offered to create a series of collaborative pathfinder projects and the Abernant Tunnel scheme has been suggested to Welsh Government as a potential pathfinder project.
At the same time, Welsh Government were also looking for nominations for places where a local authority is interested in working with Welsh Government and Transport for Wales with the aim to develop the first Welsh active travel town.
At this stage they were just looking for nominations of small to medium sized towns with a brief outline why they were deemed suitable. Merthyr Tydfil has been suggested to Welsh Government as such an opportunity.
A further £9.854m in bids has also been submitted by the council to the Welsh Government on behalf of the Cardiff Capital Regional Transport Authority.
In terms of regional programme, £6.275M has been bid on behalf of the Cardifff Capital Region Transport Authority’s (CCRTA) Metro Plus Programme which the council currently manages.
This is for the development and design of regional transport projects related to the Welsh Government’s current investment in the core Valleys Lines rail system and bus network, with the local scheme focussed on opportunities at Merthyr Tydfil railway station.
A bid for £3.579M was also submitted on behalf of the CCRTA to the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) Transformation Fund.
This will continue the delivery of the regional programme of investment in ULEV projects with the council facilitating and managing the finances, the report said.
The bid for 2023/24 covers the ongoing project to introduce an electric vehicle charge point network for the Cardiff Capital Region with new public-use ULEV infrastructure and a proposed regional “e-car club” where people can have access to short-term use of pooled electric.
All the above funding bids relate to April 2023 to March 2024, the report said.
It added that a total of £15.474m in bids has been submitted by the council to the Welsh Government for the Local Transport Fund, Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Transformational Fund, Resilient Roads Fund, and the Active Travel Fund which it says will enable the development and delivery of various local and regional transportation projects and a total of £5.62m in bids has been submitted for local schemes.