The Beeching Report: 50 years on

Today marks 50 years since the publication of the Beeching report, which led to the closure of large sections of Wales' rail network.

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Fuel discount for remote areas?

Prices at the pump could fall Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Motorists in remote areas of Wales could pay less for petrol and diesel under UK Government proposals to extend a fuel rebate scheme.

Petrol stations and other fuel retailers in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Powys and Monmouthshire will be asked how much they charged for petrol and diesel in the last quarter of 2012.

Ministers will then seek permission from the European Commission to extend the discount scheme to those areas - but only if the cost is similar to the islands within the current scheme.

Currently islanders off the coast of Scotland and in the Isles of Scilly get a 5p discount on petrol and diesel because the costs of transporting fuel there means prices are much higher.

Sustrans: Transport poverty 'a problem for economy'

Sustrans policy advisor Matt Hemsley has spoken to ITV News about the effect 'transport poverty' could have on the Welsh economy.

It comes as Department for Transport figures reveal Wales is the worst-hit part of the UK for fare increases - while also seeing the biggest fall in passenger journeys.

Mr Hemsley told us: "Buses are really important, particularly for people on lower incomes; young people who are struggling with the costs of owning and running a car as the costs of insurance and fuel go up.

"This is a big problem for the economy and lots of people."

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Power to control transport in Wales

A committee of Assembly Members has said that the Welsh Government should have the power to control the regulation of buses and more of a say in our rail networks in order to provide an easy and seamless public transport system.

The Enterprise and Business Committee was told that there is a 'silent problem' of transport poverty across Wales with a quarter of all households without a car. 1.5 million people are isolated and unable to access key services because of inadequate transport, particularly in rural areas.

The Committee believes that people in Wales should be able to use a simple and seamless integrated public transport system for whatever purpose, be it popping to the local shop or travelling across Wales for an important appointment.

There needs to be a greater emphasis on pressing travel operators to work together with stakeholders to co-ordinate timetables, connect services and publish real time information for bus, rail and community transport networks.

– Nick Ramsay AM, Chair of the Enterprise and Business Committee

The Committee's report calls for the devolution of powers controlling rail and bus services to assist the Welsh Government in improving the system.

Rail improvements 'will help boost local employment'

This new viaduct and redoubling of the railway through Gowerton will remove the current bottleneck created by the stretch of single line and provide capacity to run more trains in the future.

This project joins a number of other rail improvement projects in South and West Wales that will help deliver better journeys and boost economic growth in the area.

As well as making it easier to travel to and from West Wales, they will help to boost local employment opportunities.

– Mark Langman, Network Rail route managing director, Wales

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No M4 deal yet - Welsh Government

The Welsh Government has welcomed George Osborne's promise that an announcement on a scheme to improve the M4 at Newport will come in the next two months. But a spokesperson said there are 'important issues that remain to be resolved.'

We have been pressing for an agreed funding package for a strategic enhancement to the M4 for many months. It's very welcome that the Chancellor has expressed support in principle and said a decision will be made on the details shortly. However, no deal has been done yet and we will continue to work through the important issues that remain to be resolved.

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