Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

National Assembly for Wales

Pwyllgor yr Economi, Seilwaith a Sgiliau

Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee

Datblygu Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn y dyfodol

The future development of Transport for Wales

EIS(5) FDTfW20

Ymateb gan WSP

Evidence from WSP


Whether the current governance, structure and funding of Transport for Wales are effective and transparent.


a.     Is the governance, structure and funding effective? – it is suggested by WSP that this is yet to be clearly demonstrated either way as it is still early days in the formation of TfW.  Several major step changes in approach to procurement, development and management of transport infrastructure in Wales (specifically Rail which is the main remit of the current framework) have been implemented and we appreciate that this is no small task.  To make this possible TfW has had to make some big decisions, and the structure and personnel in place at TfW appear willing and able to make the decisions needed to make these changes possible.  We feel this is very positive.

It would be helpful for the wider industry (and public) to have clear visibility of TfWs impact and successes (we hope) as projects are delivered, to help publicise the benefits of the change in governance, structure and funding.  To realise the aspirations that TfW has for major improvements to transport infrastructure in Wales, there will inevitably be the need for short term pain (e.g. delays / disruption during construction works or maintenance/upgrading of rolling stock) to achieve significant longer term gains.  Managing public perception will be key, but could be achieved through targeted and effective communication.

In terms of structure? How are other WG departments (not just transport) being integrated into TfW.  Fundamentally the linkages between Environmental, Statutory Process, Technical Approvals and delivery teams has not been as effective has one might have assumed.  Will TfW make this better, more effective and more efficient? If so how?


b.     Is the governance, structure and funding transparent? – Not fully, but we do acknowledge that a facet of that, is that the organisation is still developing. The major changes that have been, or will be implemented, have been made in a relatively short duration which has sometimes led to lack of clarity in the wider industry or minimal foresight of upcoming opportunities.  We would like to see a more developed strategy that includes definition of how linkages and relationships with Network Rail, Keolis-Amey and LA’s will develop. This transparency would benefit consultants, designers, contractors and importantly Local Authorities in providing joined up services for TfW

In a recent event with WG staff, it was again reinforced that responsibility for the major road network will likely align with TfW in time but how and when will this take place? It is obviously difficult for TfW to spell out in any detail what the plan is for several reasons, but it would be good for TfW to be using the right language and use it with confidence from the outset.  Will major highway projects be channelled through this or a similar TfW consultant framework, and if so will this be in the form of direct awards to the primary consultant? The current framework focuses on provision of rail-related infrastructure.  A more focused multi-discipline alternative might be more suitable for the delivery of all other infrastructure services.

If the current Trunk Road Agents are to be incorporated into TfW it would be good to have a better understanding of the programme and impacts of this with regard to governance and future procurement of services.

From the perspective of a consultant working for TfW, we are beginning to receive more detailed information on TfW governance, structure or funding information and pipeline. This is slowly being communicated to us during the course of a current commission(s) we are working on.  This kind of information would be helpful to others (including SMEs, delivery partners and the supply chain) and industry days or similar could be a useful / effective way to disseminate this information. Institutions such as IHT, ICE, and ACE could also assist with such events?


What action should be taken to develop these aspects of the organisation? And what other governance models and good practice are available?

More engagement with industry and stakeholders would obviously help, but to be fair this consultation response is a positive move and feedback will underpin the next steps.

A TfW organogram and an indication of the nature of funding/approval gateways would answer many immediate questions.


The future role of Transport for Wales in delivering transport policy. What additional responsibilities should it take on and how should these integrate with the role of the Welsh Government, local government and emerging regional transport authorities?

Given the scale of transport infrastructure in Wales we envisage that TfW would very much be an Integrated Transport guardian linking thinking and projects across multi-modal, road and rail projects. There is talk of TfW having Contract Management / Delivery capability perhaps akin to some of the Highways England capability but they also seem to straddle DfT policy responsibilities alongside WG.  The responsibilities of Network Rail also overlap with TfW, so clean and clear integration of the stakeholders is likely to be key to its success. This needs careful consideration and clarification.

TfW should therefore be the focal point for proactively driving truly integrated and accessible transportation across Wales, by developing, championing, communicating and delivering simple and effective solutions.  Simply delivering policy leaves it open to short term political whim rather than staying focused on long term sustainable improvement.  It also needs to demonstrate that it listens to and acts on passenger concerns, as this was lacking under the previous franchise.

At the moment it is unclear whether some of the ‘professional services’ currently being provided to WG and the TR Agencies by private consultants might be undertaken by TfW ‘in house’ in the future. There has been speculation that this could include contract management both from a commercial and technical perspective similar to current Employer’s Agent commissions. There is anecdotal information that TfW are having discussions around this issue with LAs where potential opportunities arise for TfW to manage LA infrastructure programmes and projects at a regional level. Undoubtedly, industry needs to understand that its offerings of best practise, innovation and research and development initiatives will continue to be of benefit in Wales. The private sector consultancy houses need to understand the direction that TfW are heading with this so that they can tailor their own investment in training and developing their expertise and workforce to service the work that will ultimately be available to them through competitive tender (framework or single action).