SEWTA WELCOMES £15M EBBW VALLEY LINE INVESTMENT
Regional Transport Consortium Sewta is celebrating two major boosts to its Rail Strategy with the announcement of the green light to projects for the Ebbw Valley Line totalling £15m in just over a week.
Funding towards a £3.5 million station at Pye Corner on the line near Newport, was announced by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin at Westminster yesterday (15th May 2013), and that announcement came hot on the heels of Welsh Government Finance Minister Jane Hutt’s decision last week to fund the £11.5m Ebbw Vale Town Rail Station project.
The new station at Pye Corner was given the green light alongside three other stations in the UK, after the Welsh Government successfully applied to the New Station Fund using business case and public consultation data supplied by Sewta.
The Welsh Government, as scheme sponsor, will now work with Network Rail and Sewta to finalise the Pye Corner plans, with the new station planned to open before the end of 2014. Minister for Economy and Transport Edwina Hart said the Welsh Government had been successful in its application for £2.5m towards the cost of detailed design, planning and delivery of the new station and they will make up the rest of the £3.5m total cost of the project
The successes mark the culmination of more than four years partnership working between Sewta (the South East Wales Transport Alliance), which co-ordinates transport strategy, plans and programmes for the 10 local councils of South East Wales and the Welsh Government. Through the Regional Rail Strategy, Sewta was instrumental in developing and promoting the case for both projects.
Pye Corner is on the Ebbw Valley line between Rogerstone and Cardiff to the west of Newport. The station will consist of a single platform. The station will be equipped with a help point, ticket machine, CCTV and customer information screens. The station will be served by a car park accommodating 70 spaces.
At Ebbw Vale Town the Welsh Government cash will finance a new single platform station and a one mile track extension necessary to bring trains closer to the town and The Works Enterprise Zone.
The Chair of Sewta, Councillor Andrew Morgan, of Rhondda Cynon Taff, said:
“These two exciting decisions to build on the unprecedented success of the Ebbw Valley Railway, by funding both the Pye Corner and Ebbw Vale Town new station projects, will reap great dividends for the people of South East Wales.
“These projects will increase employment opportunities by linking with two Enterprise Zones, one in Cardiff and one in Ebbw Vale, in a sustainable way by modern rail, just in time for electrification with its faster journey times. More commuters will be able to leave the car at home and walk or cycle to the new station.
“These projects are identified as high priorities by South East Wales Integrated Transport Task Force in which Sewta has played a leading role. We will now be working towards further enhancements of the Ebbw Valley Line, and in particular the extra track needed to form a seven-mile passing loop in the Llanhilleth area, which will allow more frequent services and direct trains from Ebbw Vale to Newport. We also have proposals for a further new station at Crumlin, and the opening of a new spur line and station for Abertillery.”
The UK Government’s New Station Fund is part of £37 billion worth of investment spent from 2014 to 2019, which will modernise the railways and provide massive benefits to both passengers and the UK economy.
Sewta is the alliance of local authorities charged with developing transport policy and delivering transport projects on behalf of the 10 local authorities in South East Wales and their partners, both in the transport industry and in organisations representing passengers’ interests. Sewta’s membership includes the local authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan. Partners are the Confederation of Passenger Transport, Arriva Trains Wales, First Great Western, Network Rail, Bus Users UK, Passenger Focus and Sustrans. Sewta works closely with the Welsh Government.