Plan to outline rail link between the south of Wales and Aberystwyth by 2027
Plans for a rail link between the south of Wales and Aberystwyth could be outlined by 2027 according to a new Welsh Government transport planning document.
The Welsh Government’s National Transport Delivery Plan 2022 includes a list of ongoing projects, with plans to develop the case for the railway to Aberystwyth by 2025 and outline the design by 2027, although the document concedes that the planning stage may well move “beyond” that point.
The Plaid Cymru and Welsh Government cooperation agreement include a commitment to “ask Transport for Wales and other partners to explore how transport links between the north and south of Wales can be developed”.
These would include “how to protect potential travel corridors along the western coast of Wales from Swansea to Bangor”.
The transport document published this week includes amid its ongoing projects a “Swansea Aberystwyth Rail Link” with a commitment to “develop the case for change and option selection” between 2022 and 2025 and “outline design and powers” between “2025 to 2027 and beyond”.
The plan says: “TfW are developing outline plans for improving sustainable transport along travel corridors on the west coast of Wales.
“As part of this work they will identify any potential routes that will need to be reserved for potential future development.”
The transport plan also states an ambition to move people; from using cars to using public transport and active travel where possible, and to devolve more powers over transport to Wales, including over rail infrastructure.
“Responsibility for transport in Wales is shared between the UK and Welsh Government with a mixture of responsibilities,” the plan says.
“In the long term, we would like to see more responsibilities devolved to Wales, with fair and equitable funding, to enable us to achieve some of our bigger ambitions for Wales.
“Specifically, in the short-term we would like to see Air Passenger Duty devolved and in the long term, we would like to see rail infrastructure fully devolved to Wales.”
The transport plan also hints towards using some forms of road charging to deter people from using cars in the future.
We will also motivate people away from private car use through demand management – the Wales Transport Strategy includes a commitment to develop a national road user charging framework,” it says.
“Further work will be undertaken to: develop a fair and equitable road user charging framework, including how local authorities can borrow against these future
revenue streams to fund transport improvements; and also consider other alternatives such as work place car parking levies and road space reallocation.”
However, it also notes that “the UK Secretary of State for Transport retains powers to implement universal road charging and to receive any revenue, but through the Transport Act 2000 Welsh Ministers can provide powers to local authorities to implement local schemes.”
The campaign group Traws Link Cymru was formed in 2013 with aim of reinstating the railway lines between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen, and Afon Wen to Bangor, both of which were closed to passengers under the 1960s Beeching Cuts.
Last year the Welsh Government released a map that hinted that a north-south railway might be in the offing, but nothing has been confirmed so far.
Civil engineer Bob Saxby from Traws Link Cymru told Golwg 360 he did not see any problem with the connection between Bangor and Afon Wen reopening.
“I can’t see any major problems with using the old trackbed through to Afonwen, much of which still exists,” he said.
“In the few places where new roads have trespassed on the line, new bridges would need to be built and possibly some sections of the road realigned, as has been done elsewhere,” he said.
“The tunnel under Castle Square in Caernarfon would need to be converted back from road to rail use but has very little traffic and would be even less needed as a road when the Caernarfon Bypass open.
“There is room for a railway to go between Morrison car park and the council car park under the car park behind Asda, to a station very close to the walled town and bus station.
“As well as encouraging visitors to come here by train, taking the pressure of the A55 as well as local roads and car parks, a railway would enable local people to get jobs along the north of Wales coast rather than having to move to away to find work. ”
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A direct connection from Pwllheli to Aberystwyth would be a start…I got snarled up in Llanbedr yesterday, that village really needs a bypass…
There will be no bypass. By 2040 there will far fewer cars and you will spend most of your time in your own local area. For the vast majority of ordinary people, travel will be by foot, bicycle or by what will turn out to be a substandard public transport system without regular timetables.
Is that you Ed?
And what do you do for fun my friend ?
He sits beside strangers on the bus…
If sea levels rise, the line from Pwllheli to Aber will be underwater, especially by the Dyfi. A ferry might be better..
Only a Welsh Parliament will take care of our much needed North South transport links to unite the people of OUR country pending Independence. All powers need to be gradually and completely devolved rendering the ‘war’ of a referendum redundant. The UK government is only self interested in East West links.
The old track by Penygroes is now a very popular foot and cycle path and would have to be retained alongside any new development…
Pathetic! 5 yrs just to come up with a plan? FFS! We NEED this line to strengthen our links & economy.
It does seem like quite a long time. But part of the problem is that planning is about all Llyw.Cym can do, as the rail network isn’t devolved. It’s unlikely to be built until either the rail network in Cymru (and the appropriate share of the funds, £5bn on HS2, hint, hint) is devolved, or we are independent.
‘The Wales Transport Strategy includes a commitment to develop a national road user charging framework’. No doubt this will be imposed in addition to existing charges on the bulk of the travelling public. Rebecca and her daughters will be making a comeback.
I’ll be joining her.
This is Lee La-la-land Waters again, who seems to be convinced that returning society to its medieval state is the only way to combat climate change.
He’ll have to perform some astonishing public transport miracles to avoid ruining the rural economy. In those areas, the only people who’ll be able to afford to travel beyond their village will be the settlers.
He has is allies out in the sticks but there are others coming over the hill to rescue the stranded villagers…medieval is a good place to start to unravel the plot of this story…
Funny, we have one minister riding his Nuclear Pony and another off to market on a Welsh Cob, all very linked-in the pair of them while another keeps putting off buying the farm…
A few other options to improve N – S travel, reinstate curve and junction between Shotton High level and N. Wales mainline so that trains N-S can use Bidston line to Wrexham, slightly shorter and cuts out Chester and driver having to change driving cab. reinstate line from Gobowen to Welshpool through Oswestry (Aberystwyth to Llandudno), Dovey Junction to allow N-S running Aberystwyth to Pwllheli.
But interestingly, the bulk of the “things they will deliver” are improvements to East-West rail travel, so more people can work in Bristol, Liverpool, Chester, Birmingham etc. and buy cheap(er) houses in Cymru, where they can outbid the locals and vote Tory.
Not a good priority.
” it would be better if we teamed up with Manchester and we’re part of the northern powerhouse” ‘s rest, recreation and relocation annex.
You have been to Snakemoor then…
O dear a blast from the 70’s.
Funny this – another example of one bit of Wales not knowing what the other is doing… This week the Gwili Railway was given planning permission by Carmarthenshire to build carriage sidings, an access road and other things – funded by Welsh Government and EU (yes, EU) grants – across the track bed of the old Carmarthen – Aberystwyth railway behind Glangwili Hospital. So what will happen to the time and effort the Gwili Railway’s volunteers put in (and have put in in the past) if it is all to be swept away by another Welsh vanity project? Perhaps TfW… Read more »
An inability to perform or deliver is a core characteristic of government in London and on a smaller scale Cardiff. Both levels spend too much time talking at the grand strategic level but are just not competent at making things happen on time and within cost parameters. Symptoms of lack of real world experience ?
How about spending a fraction of the money on Broadband Infrastructure. 1000MB for all. That is if you really care about economic growth and connecting people.
I feel your pain. But poor wifi is the last thing keeping the orcs from buying up all the houses in the beautiful west and driving up house prices beyond the reach of affordability for local workers. And we desperately need better transport links inside our borders.
You make an excellent point that I don’t disagree with. I’m just concerned about the knock on effects.
Aber to the South is great. But we also need better links for Aber to the North
don’t invest in broadband as I don’t want house prices to go up. idiotic.
build more houses. invest in broadband.
small minds Wales.
The reality is that Manchester gives less of a flying f@&k about north Wales than you perceive Cardiff does.
Guess what, N Wales as far as rail is concerned is part of the Northern Powerhouse as Westminster has responsibility for rail infrastructure in North Wales and is why direct trains from Wrexham to Liverpool via the Halton Curve are coming (1 a day at present). But how far down the pecking order in a Northern Powerhouse is North Wales, a clue, near the bottom simply because the population is too small.
raikway and motorway Needed I’m afraid. but will our Cardiff centric senedd have the courage to deliver it having prevented the motorway through Newport?