Plans for Cwmbran station improvements revealed
Twm Owen, local democracy reporter
Plans for a new bridge and lifts at a Gwent train station have been released after four years of discussions.
Network Rail has been in talks over improving disabled access at Cwmbran train station since 2019 and now plans to remove the existing footbridge and build a replacement “access for all” bridge, which will allow all passengers to move between the station’s two platforms.
The bridge will have pillars on both platforms which will house the lifts.
The present footbridge between southbound Platform One, which carries passengers to Newport and Cardiff, and the northern platform to New Inn, Abergavenny and on to Manchester, isn’t accessible to passengers in wheelchairs or with prams due to its steps.
The only step-free access between the two platforms is a ramped path along Edlogan Way, south of the station, which Network Rail describes as “hazardous” and “uneven”.
As there is no designated step-free route from the station car park to Edlogan Way within the station, passengers who need to reach Platform One have to travel some 550 metres to get to the opposite side of the tracks, with no vehicle access or car parking on the Platform One side of the station, which was opened in May 1986.
Several existing disabled parking spaces, alongside Platform Two where the station’s ticket office is located, will be moved to allow construction to take place.
They will be relocated to the existing parking bays immediately adjacent the ticket office, which will provide the shortest accessible route for people with limited mobility and also maximise CCTV coverage of the accessible route from the disabled parking bays into the station.
The principle drop-off point will also be located immediately outside the station entrance near the existing taxi rank and will require minimal construction work with only minor amendments to the existing dropped kerb and line markings.
The station is wheelchair assessable but isn’t compliant with the Equality Act 2010 and also falls short of Network Rail’s own standards, with access to Platform Two only accessible for wheelchair via a “convoluted step free ramp”.
Network Rail is able to construct the bridge under permitted development rights but has to gain prior approval from Torfaen Borough Council for the siting and appearance of the bridge.
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