Steaming towards Britain’s Western Powerhouse?

12 February 2016, Blog

Today, Friday 12 February Council Leaders from Bristol, Cardiff and Newport joined industry experts and Business Insider, to launch an initiative for greater cohesion in the so called “West of Britain”.

With economic growth gathering serious momentum across the region, population growth is following suit. This is unearthing major questions about how to structure an emerging western powerhouse.

A culture of exchange already exists between the three cities with 1,724 commuters travelling from Cardiff and Newport to Bristol daily, so the logical step is to cement this arrangement with better infrastructure, communications and more cohesive development.

The electrification of the rail network cuts journey times by 20 minutes making commuting viable and interdependence ever more pertinent. While this will improve commutes for some, for drivers, the influx of traffic is likely to slow up inner-city journeys dramatically. Cue gridlock and expletives.

Whilst the Insider launch was awash with nodding heads, and encapsulated by agreement, North Somerset sentiment coming via BBC Radio Bristol was clear. The so called Western Powerhouse may build relationships with Welsh cities; but how will this impact upon the ongoing negotiations to deliver great devolution to the West of England.

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