Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Air Force One... for one

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones told Conservatives he had used the service 42 times since its launch a year ago.

Plaid said it was "no surprise" the only north Wales cabinet member used it more and it was a "tiny proportion" of 14,000 journeys taken on the service.

The Anglesey-Cardiff flight's subsidy from the Welsh Assembly Government is £2.4m over three years.

Mr Jones is AM for Anglesey, as well as economy and transport minister.

Mr Jones celebrated the first anniversary of the service last Friday by joining a special flight on the 18-seater aircraft. He said that the service, operated by Highland Airways, was a "huge success", beating expectations.

The airline said it had been "astonished" at the uptake.

Flying Cabinet

  • Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones - 42 journeys
  • Education Minister Jane Hutt - six journeys
  • Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones - three
  • Heritage Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas - two
  • First Minister Rhodri Morgan, Finance Minister Andrew Davies, Social Justice Minister Brian Gibbons - one journey each
  • Sustainability Minister Jane Davidson and Health Minister Edwina Hart - no journeys
Numbers of flights between Anglesey and Cardiff, up to 16 April 2008.
Source: Welsh Conservative Party

This gives some free publicity for the service, with a huge recommendation and thumbs-up from the Deputy First Minister. Within time, perhaps other transport links will be improved and receive such a ringing endorsement.

Improving transport links between north and south Wales - Air first, rail next??

4 comments:

Anonymous 14 May 2008 at 16:31  

.. maybe had previous Tory and Labour governments invested in north south rail and road links, then this air service wouldn't be needed.

... maybe the Tories prefere the DFM to drive up and down and so waste up to 8 hours rather than doing proper work.

... and of course, it doesn't cost anything to the taxpayer when the Minister is driven up by ministerial car - petrol, car upkeep is free as is the government driver who does it from the goodness of his patriotic heart.

WelshBlogIndex 14 May 2008 at 17:19  

I will be back and reviewing the blogs from Monday! Hope you will be keeping up the blogging and let me know if there are any blogs that need adding to the blog reviews!

WBI

Anonymous 14 May 2008 at 19:28  

Anon 16:31 The word accountability springs to mind. There was no real need for the air service before the Assembly...

Anonymous 16 May 2008 at 00:46  

We all use whatever resources we can, so you can't blame them.

BBC UK Politics

BBC Welsh Politics

WalesOnline

Welsh Political News

UK News from Times Online

Telegraph Politics

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