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Plans advance to bring railway station back to life 60 years after it closed

19 Feb 2024 3 minute read
The UK government has announced that it will back plans for a new railway station in St Athan. Photo Ted Peskett.

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

Plans to bring a railway station back to life after it closed decades ago have taken a major step forward.

The UK government’s decision to back a new railway station for St Athan has been welcomed by the leader of Vale of Glamorgan Council, councillor Lis Burnett, who called it a “significant announcement”.

It will mean the restoration of services on the Vale of Glamorgan line to the village for the first time in 60 years.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, visited the county on Monday, February 19 to make the announcement.

Vale of Glamorgan line

Cllr Burnett said: “We have an aspiration through our new Local Development Plan to provide for truly sustainable development with excellent infrastructure and transport connections to support new growth.

“To this end, I am in no doubt that the exciting strategic proposals for development at St Athan and Aberthaw provide the basis of a clear business case for the new station and I look forward to feasibility work progressing.”

The Vale of Glamorgan line reopened in 2005, but St Athan railway station has remained closed since 1964.

Currently, the closest stations for people in the village are Llantwit Major and Rhoose Cardiff International Airport – both more than 4km either side of St Athan.

Funding

The Department of Transport has pledged to work with Vale of Glamorgan Council and Transport for Wales in funding and developing a business case for the new station.

This will include assessing passenger demand and options for train services.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “The return of service to St Athan for the first time in 60 years would be key to unlocking the area’s huge potential for growth, encouraging more businesses to invest in the area and opening up job opportunities for thousands of people.”

There are currently plans in place for hundreds of homes in St Athan, one relating to the development of 250 homes on land at Church Farm.

As well as servicing local residents, it is hoped a new station would provide transport to staff at the nearby Aston Martin manufacturing and development facility.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Rail infrastructure is not devolved and while we welcome new investment in our railways after years of under-funding by the UK Government, it’s disappointing the UK Government has failed to provide any substantive detail about behind the headlines for its support for a new station at St Athan, including what funding will be provided to deliver the infrastructure.

“We’re committed to working in partnership with the UK Government to improve rail infrastructure and services across Wales, but today’s announcement undermines this ambition. It does not align with the joint Wales Rail Board infrastructure priorities which were developed with the UK Government in good faith.” 


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Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago

The announcement is just in time for the upcoming General Election and Alun Cairns to have a photo opportunity linked to a non-commitment to build a railway station which his government have done nothing about building for 14 years.

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Llyn

On yes, there’ll be goody bags galore from the tory/popcon/newcon brexit & whatever or who ever they fragment into party from now until the G.E. Surprising what comes about when they give the magic money tree a good shake.

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
1 month ago

Plenty of other rail schemes in Wales need support too. for national 90 Lein Amlwch in Ynys Mon Bangor to Caernarfon And a national railway with a direct connection from the north of Wales to the south. e.g. from Llandudno to Merthyr Remember, at the time of unification, the Kingdom of Italy initiated a large infrastructure project to build railways. Railways had a positive effect on manufacturing productivity over the period 1871–1911 and also had strong spillover effects in neighbouring provinces so that provinces that started with a higher endowment of railways benefited more than those who were newly endowed… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Held my breath then, nearly fainted…

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