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MP complains Amman Valley and Llandeilo are being side-lined from South Wales Metro plans

02 Apr 2022 3 minute read
Engineers working on the South Wales Metro. Photo TfW

The Independent MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr has hit out at enhancement plans for the South Wales Metro, claiming the Amman Valley and Llandeilo are being sidelined from the multi-billion-pound project.

Jonathan Edwards calling on the Senedd to amend its oversight and ensure that the Amman Valley will be included in the South Wales Metro enhancement package, to make public transport a viable option for everyone.

Mr Edwards has criticised the existing services to the area as ‘paltry’ and that not including them in the improvement plan is a missed opportunity. He added that without regular services in Carmarthenshire, commuters will not turn to public transport.

Welsh government’s £500m-£600m investment package being rolled out in conjunction with Transport for Wales is aimed at transforming Wales’s Metro rail network.

New stations

The plans involve developing and connecting Wales’ key transport hubs, including an enhanced local rail service west of Swansea to Milford Haven and six proposed new stations on the South Wales Metro Link at Morriston, Llandarcy, Penllergaer, Landore, Velindre and Cockett.

Following consultation last year, work has already begun around the Core Valley Lines which serve Aberdare, Coryton, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney and Treherbert. The new depot for the South Wales Metro at Taff’s Well was given the green light in January.

Transport for Wales

According to maps and plans on the TfW website, improvements for the West Wales sections of the rail network are scheduled for 2029.

Speaking to the South Wales Guardian Mr Edwards said: “At the moment, the plans are a missed opportunity to re-open the Amman Valley to all other passenger services.”

“Surely the Metro is the perfect vehicle for integrating the valley into the rail network and making rail a viable option for far more people?

“Clearly from a Carmarthenshire point of view, it would be far better for commuters wishing to get to Cardiff or beyond to jump on a train at Felindre as opposed to having to travel all the way to Neath or Port Talbot.”

“Obviously there’s a lot of good news in these proposals and, if properly resourced, the Metro has the potential to be transformational,” continued Jonathan Edwards.

“But from reading the initial plans, I’d like clarification on the scale of the rail frequency enhancements being proposed for the Heart of Wales line to Ammanford and then on through the Towy Valley.

“The current paltry service that’s serving the area simply isn’t good enough – if we’re to make public transport a viable option, then we need to significantly improve the frequency of services.”

Mr Edwards says he has tabled a question in the House of Commons asking for progress on the development of the proposed West Wales Parkway in Felindre, aimed at offering services East to Cardiff and to England.

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