How Wales Keeps on the Move - by Plane, Rail and the Motorway; Transport Statistics Are Revealed

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THE true picture of Wales' transport network has been revealed.

It shows an increasing number of plane, train and car journeys being made across the country - with more people owning a car, travelling by train and using Cardiff Airport than previous years.

And the millions of pounds invested in the system to keep Wales on the move has also been revealed with capital expenditure by local authorities on roads and transport standing at pounds 214m in 2006-07.

The statistics - the most up to date published by the Welsh Assembly Government - detail, among other things, the amount of freight on Welsh roads, the number of cars and registered drivers.

According to the data, there were around 118,000 new vehicle registrations in Wales during 2007, with Wales more reliant on the car than other regions and nations in the UK.

The number of road vehicles licensed in Wales increased by 2% between 2006 and 2007, to 1,728,800 vehicles. Of all road vehicles licensed, 76% were cars in the private and light goods category.

The number of licensed road vehicles in Wales increased by 12% between 2003 and 2007. That compares to increases of 8% and 11% in England and Scotland respectively.

People in Wales are also more reliant on driving their car to work than elsewhere - 81% of people travel to work using a car, van or minibus, with 69% in England and 70% in Scotland using those forms of transport to get to their jobs.

There was more volume of traffic on the roads in Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf than any other areas of Wales, and traffic on motorways accounted for 12% of all road traffic during 2007.

Wales exported less via road freight in 2007 than 2006; there was an estimated 479,000 tonnes of exports by road from Wales, a decrease of 32,000 since 2006.

In 2007, 80% of the tonnage of exports by road from Wales was to Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany. The same four countries account for 83% of the tonnage of imports by road.

Away from the road network, Cardiff Airport enjoyed a rise in passenger numbers, with 44,000 aircraft movements at the terminal in 2007 - 5% more than in 2006.

The total number of passengers using Cardiff Airport increased by 4% in 2007, to 2.11 million.

The figures will be a welcome boost for the airport, which has undergone a rebranding, changing its name from Cardiff International Airport, while planning a refurbishment of its terminal building.

The total freight handled at Cardiff Airport increased by 8% between 2006 and 2007, with 83% of domestic passengers travelling between Cardiff and Belfast, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Spain and the Canary Islands together accounted for 50% of all international air passenger traffic to and from Cardiff Airport, according to the statistics, and there were 32,000 (66%) fewer passengers travelling between Cardiff and the Czech Republic during 2007, compared to 2006.

During the same period, the number of passengers travelling between Cardiff and Portugal, including Madeira, increased by 89% with around 39,000 more passengers. …