Cardiff Crossrail: details emerge on new train stations, bus services, and tram routes
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
New details have been revealed about major upgrades to public transport in northwest Cardiff including new train stations, express bus services and potential tram routes.
A major report published this week looks at short and long term ways public transport can be improved, including the Cardiff Crossrail tram-train route, as rising congestion is feared.
The transport corridor from northwest Cardiff to the city centre is expected to see a huge rise in demand, both on public transport and the road network, as thousands of houses are built.
By 2025, train stations could be built at the Mill housing development in Ely and at Junction 34 of the M4; as well as express bus routes introduced from the city centre to Plasdŵr, Talbot Green and a new park-and-ride at Junction 33; and more frequent train services.
The second phase, between 2025 and 2030, could see the Crossrail tram-train route built from the city centre to Junction 33, Creigiau, and then ending at either Pontyclun or Beddau. This would likely link up with the existing City Line railway just north of Fairwater station.
Transport consultants Mott MacDonald, commissioned by the Welsh Government, Cardiff council, Rhondda Cynon Taf council, and Transport for Wales, wrote the 156-page WelTAG stage one report on the northwest corridor exploring potential options.
Cardiff council’s cabinet will hear the report on Thursday, June 17, and likely vote to move on to the next stage: preparing an outline business case for the major public transport upgrades. Rhondda Cynon Taf council’s cabinet will also consider the report next Thursday.
Massively upgraded public transport is needed to cater for the thousands of houses planned for Plasdŵr in northwest Cardiff, as well as huge housing developments north of Junction 33, south of Creigiau, and Cwm Colliery and Coking Works, and at Mwyndy and Talbot Green.
The Crossrail route will likely run along the disused Llantrisant branch line, which runs from Fairwater through the northwest of Cardiff, including through Plasdŵr. New platforms could be built for the tram south of Cardiff Central train station, potentially at Callaghan Square.
One option would see the tram run along Penarth Road and Sloper Road by Cardiff City Stadium, before linking up to the existing railway by Ninian Park station. Crossrail would also link down to the Bay at Porth Teigr, then extend on to Splott and Tremorfa.
Train services would become more frequent on the City Line, from Cardiff Central to Radyr, where the Ely Mill station would be built. Trains would also become more frequent on the South Wales Main Line, where the new Junction 34 station would be built by Miskin.
The next step, WelTAG stage two, would see consultants draw up an outline business case for the upgrades with much more details. The third stage would then see a full business case drawn up.