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Council backs plans for three new railway stations

18 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Artist impression of the proposed Somerton Station in Newport. Image Transport for Wales

Nicholas Thomas, local democracy reporter

A council is set to back plans for three new railway stations, aimed at transforming public transport in the region and easing pressure on the M4.

Transport for Wales is currently consulting on proposals to build a series of new stations along the South Wales Main Line.

Three of those would be in Newport – located in Llanwern, Maesglas, and Somerton.

Together with an extra station at each side of the city, they will form a so-called “rail backbone” for the region by “significantly increasing the capacity and flexibility” of the main line route.

Increasing the main line’s passenger capacity was the main recommendation of the Burns commission set up after Mark Drakeford cancelled the M4 relief road project for Newport.

The commission was asked to come up with public transport alternatives to a new road, and backed rail investment as the best way to alleviate congestion problems on the existing motorway.

In its draft consultation response, Newport City Council said it would “strongly support the proposals for the enhanced transport links”.

The project would “increase the opportunity for more sustainable travel within and beyond” the city’s boundaries, and “enhance opportunities to access to employment, healthcare and leisure facilities”.

Park and Ride

Park and ride services at the new Newport West (Maesglas) and Llanwern stations would “intercept” car trips on the M4, the council added.

The proposed Newport West station, built near the Newport Saracens RFC ground, includes 250 parking spaces, a bus link, and a connection to Lighthouse Road in Duffryn.

The council said the site “offers an opportunity to provide excellent connections” for walking and cycling.

Plans for a new Somerton station, off Fairfax Road, include 50 parking spaces and a drop-off/pick-up area.

But this site is “in close proximity to residential properties”, the council said, and “it would be preferable if there were no car parking provision and that active travel (walking and cycling) options are considered as an alternative”.

Parking spaces

The site of the proposed Llanwern station “offers a significant opportunity to attract modal shift from the M4”, and includes plans for up to 1,000 parking spaces – although 750 of those would not be surfaced.

The council said this “relative lack of formal car parking provision” could discourage proper parking and a poor road surface could damage vehicles.

It also said there was “limited opportunity” for parking north of the station, which could increase “illegal parking” or parking in residential areas.

Looking at the whole project, however, the draft report notes the council is “supportive of the general principles for enhanced services and the three stations in our administrative area”.

The council’s cabinet member for infrastructure is expected to sign off on the consultation response next week.


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Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
1 month ago

The amount of cars that these stations would take off the M4 would only be a drop in the Ocean.
Just build The M4 relief motorway, problem solved.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

Problem created more like. Destroy wildlife and watch as car growth increases again. We already have a serious issue of lack of parking in our terraced streets. You want grid lock.

Ap Kenneth
1 month ago

The more choices we all have the better for us all. If only it could be cheaper it could make an even bigger difference.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

I’d prefer to see TFW invest this money to actually get existing services running with any semblance of regularity and reliability first. Not doubting the usefulness of these new stations to local residents but what use are lovely new stations if the services they provide are next to useless? I try to commute by train from Maesteg to Cardiff three days per week. I genuinely can’t remember the last time I actually got to work on time, I think it was before Christmas. (and before anyone says it, there isn’t an earlier train I can catch unless I wish to… Read more »

Angel
Angel
1 month ago

The amount it costs to travel on these trains they should have a route straight to north by now. Amount people pay for car taxes they should have better motorways aswell in Wales but again Wales is like 17thcentury I’m surprised cars not been replaced with Horses an carts again.with 20mph rubbish an money wasted Government love spending money on themselves taking cash off people an not putting back in to infrastructure or right places it’s needed for Welsh tax payers. South Wales is money pit of greedy councils an brown envelope councillors look at the debt there all in… Read more »

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