Welsh Transport Minister calls for UK investment into Wales and Borders rail network
Ken Skates has outlined an evidence-based argument in support of the development of four new stations across the Welsh rail network.
The Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates
The Welsh Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, has written to the UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, setting out a strong argument to build four new railway stations across Wales.
The letter calls on the UK Transport Secretary to invest in the Wales and Borders rail network through the UK government’s ‘Restoring Your Railways’ fund, not only to improve rail connectivity, but to supercharge Wales’ post-COVID-19 recovery.
A report undertaken by Transport for Wales (TfW) for the Welsh Transport Minister identified four locations for new stations. The developments, which would be paid for under the New Stations Fund 3, would be ready by early 2024.
All of equal priority, the stations would be:
- Deeside Parkway, on the Borderlands Line in North Wales
- Carno, on the Cambrian Mainline in Mid-Wales
- St Clears on the Great Western Mainline in West Wales
- Ely Mill on the City Line in Cardiff, in South Wales
In his letter, Ken writes: “In combination, which is why I have not prioritised between them, the Transport for Wales report demonstrates a compelling case for all four to be developed as an integrated programme to improve access to the rail network across the regions of Wales. They will make a major contribution to improved rail connectivity, supercharge our post-COVID-19 recovery, and develop our public transport for the future. Our new station openings will be key to Building Back Better.”
Deeside Parkway and Ely Mill will be key components of their respective Metro developments, with major contributions to improved urban connectivity, employment/economic growth and reduced car use.
New stations in Carno and St Clears would support strong employment and sustainable economic growth through improved regional connectivity. They share extensive support within rural communities with limited public transport opportunities, who have historically been overlooked, particularly since the closure of previous stations in these communities.
The Welsh Transport Minister also invited the UK Transport Secretary to discuss further priorities for rail investment, including new stations at Greenfield and Magor. He put forward suggestions for the New Ideas Fund, such as the restoration of passenger services on the line between Gaerwen and Amlwch on Anglesey and an expressed interest in using the Accelerating Existing Proposals fund to restore the line and services to Abertillery in South Wales. He also took the opportunity to reiterate the case strongly for plans which included the Aberystwyth – Carmarthen and Bangor – Caernarfon re-openings.