Disruption expected as works start at Wales’ busiest station
Commuters and travellers using Wales’ busiest station can expect to see changes and disruption as a programme of upgrades begins this week.
Starting on Monday the 27th of September, several upgrades will be undertaken, in a bid to improve the overall customer experience for those visiting Cardiff Central station.
The multi-million-pound investment project has been scheduled in partnership with Transport for Wales (TfW) to transform the station with work expected to continue over the next few years.
Figures released by the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) in 2020 suggested that 12.6 million passengers use the station annually, and while the upgrades and improvements may be welcomed by customers, Transport for Wales is advising travellers to allow extra time for any possible disruptions.
TfW’s Director of Transport Operations, Alexia Course, recognised there would be disturbance, saying: “I would like to thank our customers and visitors to Cardiff Central for their patience and understanding as we deliver these improvements.
“We are continually investing in station improvements across our network and each programme of work offers tangible benefits to our customers. A great deal of planning has taken place to get us to the point of delivery.”
Commenting on the work in ‘Train Advent’, TfW say the upgrades for customer facilities are intended to make Cardiff Central station a more sustainable, accessible station and will bring a progressive outlook for its future.
Initially the work will focus on the station waiting rooms and customer toilets, with a refurbishment of the accessible toilet and parent and baby changing facilities.
Along with improved signage and replacement of the digital information screens, USB sockets will be installed around the station, a new water dispenser will encourage a reduction in single-use plastic water bottles, and new bins and recycling facilities are planned.
Cardiff Central Station Manager, Wayne Creswell, added: “Cardiff Central is by far the busiest station in Wales and is a crucial part of our transport network. We are delighted to see this investment in customer facilities throughout the station and I am confident that staff will support both our customers and contractors on site, to ensure we minimise disruption and continue to deliver a seamless first-class service. We work collaboratively to ensure our stations are safe, accessible, and welcoming places for passengers.
“Even small changes can make a big impact for our customers, and I’m confident that these enhanced facilities will be welcomed by them. Cardiff Central has an important role to play in the continued development of Cardiff as a destination and a centre for international events, we will see a much larger programme of improvements for the station and surrounding area in coming years. We’re on an exciting journey and I’d like to thank station staff and visitors in advance for their ongoing support as we progress through each phase.”
The work is expected to be complete by the end of December to the early part of January, with further development and upgrades will be taking place throughout 2022.
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For the busiest station in Wales, Cardiff Central does look a little worse for wear. Definitely needs these works.
The line from Swansea to Paddington gives users a bird’s eye view of the enormous disparity in infrastructure investment between England and Wales.
Take a look at Reading station for example. Escalators, slick information display boards and signage, easy to use rail-air links, etc.
And compare with Cardiff Central station, the gateway to Wales for many.