The letter calls on Grant Shapps 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 coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery.
A report undertaken by Transport for Wales for the Transport Minister Ken Skates 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, the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates 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 and of Laura Ashley’s famous factory in Carno.
The Transport Minister also invited the 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 to Carmarthen and Bangor to Caernarfon re-openings.