Chapter 4.
build a stronger, greener economy

Welsh Labour’s Promise to Wales


  1. Invest for the long term in the green and modern infrastructure Wales needs to thrive. We will launch a new 10-year Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for a zero-carbon economy; deliver on our 10-year £100m Tech-Valleys programme and complete major projects including the £1bn dualling of the Heads of the Valleys road, an exceptional programme of work to unlock the potential of employment in the region. We will continue to press the UK Government for a fair share of vital rail infrastructure and R&D investment for Wales.
  2. Take forward our new Digital Strategy for Wales and upgrade our digital and communications infrastructure.  We will support innovation through our new Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in North Wales and our new Manufacturing Strategy to help key areas of our economy, such as aerospace and steel, to innovate, grow and reduce their carbon footprint. 
  3. Create a modern legislative basis for transport in Wales. We will lift the ban on local authorities setting up new municipal bus companies. We will legislate to modernise the taxi and private vehicle sector and address the problems of cross-bordering. 
  4. Implement our new Wales Transport Strategy to develop a high quality, sustainable and affordable public transport system. We will give Transport for Wales new powers to better integrate rail, bus and active travel and regulate for them to meet Welsh language standards. We will also work with local authorities to develop new Regional Transport Plans. We will work towards our new target of 45% of journeys by sustainable modes by 2040, setting more stretching goals where we can.
  5. Take forward the Burns Commission report for Newport, pressing the UK Government to help us realise its exciting vision for transport integration and for easing M4 congestion. We will develop a new major routes fund to improve the attractiveness and biodiversity of areas alongside major transport routes into Wales.
  6. Deliver £800m of new rolling stock for our railways and ensure that 95% of train journeys are on new trains by 2024. We will progress plans for a metro in North Wales and Swansea Bay. We will explore opportunities for multi-modal extensions to our Metro networks, such as the North West Corridor and across the South Wales valleys. We will press the UK Government to electrify the North Wales mainline. We will develop the exciting Global Centre of Rail Excellence in the Dulais Valley to promote rail innovation. We will explore options for workers to take an ownership stake in our national transport assets.
  1. Invest in bus services and complete major new bus infrastructure projects, including reallocating road space to support dedicated bus lanes and new rapid transit routes that make bus travel easier. We will learn from recent Fflecsi pilots to expand flexible demand-responsive travel across Wales. We will build on the success of our free concessionary travel scheme for older people and look at how fair fares can encourage integrated travel, including exploring extensions of the MyTravelPass for reduced-cost travel for young people. We will work to make the bus and taxi vehicle fleet zero-emission by 2028.
  2. Work with Transport for Wales and local authorities to strengthen the promotion of walking and cycling as we make Wales an active travel nation. We will support innovative new social enterprise schemes such as bike maintenance repair cafes and bike recycling schemes. We will develop new Active Travel Integrated Network Maps and work with schools to promote Active Travel and Road Safety. 
  3. Make 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas and ban pavement parking wherever possible.
  4. Build a sustainable future for our key ports and Cardiff Airport.
  5. Establish a new transport performance board to develop the integrated and efficient passenger transport system we want in Wales. We will modernise transport grants. We will invest in travel options that encourage public transport and support walking and cycling – options that are low or zero-carbon and mitigate air pollution.
  6. Support innovation in new renewable energy technology, with a particular focus on supporting to market new technologies that need additional help. As part of a balanced energy policy, we will develop a Tidal Lagoon Challenge and support ideas that can make Wales a world centre of emerging tidal technologies

Over the last four decades, Wales has been at the sharpest edge of deindustrialisation and with it a legacy of low pay, skills deficits, health inequalities and poverty. Devolution has given us the opportunity to re-build our economy and develop a modern and productive infrastructure, which can act as an engine of inclusive and sustainable growth.

The pandemic has ravaged our economy – too many good businesses and jobs have been lost over the last year. We must now reset the clock and create a new, fairer, and greener economy that works for everyone, not just the few. 

With new digital, economic and transport infrastructures we will re-build and re-energise our local communities, our town centres, and our economy in a vibrant and inclusive way to safeguard existing jobs and create new job opportunities so Wales can thrive once again.

Our new greener economy will be grounded in our values of progressive change – values of co-operation not competition; looking out for one another, not divided against each other. 
We will go forward together with our partners in the public sector, in business and in trade unions. And we will build our economic infrastructure for long-term sustainable home-grown industries and the rewarding jobs they will bring.

What we did in government

  • Our Labour Government in Wales planned for the future by creating the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales, publishing a National Development Framework and bringing local authorities together in new regional planning structures. 
  • The Welsh Labour Government has stepped in where the UK Tory Government has failed by investing £200m to help 750,000 premises get fast-fibre broadband. We established a Centre for Digital Public Services to advance innovation.   
  • Sustainable, integrated, and accessible transport is vital to a modern economy and we have made record investment in public transport right across Wales and a bold new transport strategy to cut emissions too. 
  • Brought the Wales and Borders rail network back into public ownership. We are investing £750m to upgrade and electrify the South Wales Valleys lines to deliver better infrastructure, journey times and more trains. 
  • Introduced the MyTravelPass to give discounted travel to all 16 to 21-year-olds.
  • We are putting more than £80m of additional funding into protecting bus services during the pandemic and committed major investments in new bus stations across Wales, including Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil and Shotton.
  • We are making a record investment of £75m in active travel to improve walking and cycling opportunities. 
  • Helping people move to electric vehicles with new investment in charging infrastructure and a new electric vehicle charging strategy.
  • We’ve invested more than £110m in renewable energy infrastructure, backing 11 marine energy projects, including the tidal stream demonstration zone off the coast of Anglesey.