Rail company defends not investing in Welsh seafront defence
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
A rail company has defended not investing in the defences of a stretch of land frequently battered by waves.
Plans for multi-million-pound coastal defences at Colwyn Bay and Old Colwyn were submitted by Conwy to its own planning committee last week.
The application seeks permission for the sea defences between Porth Eirias in the west and Splash Point in the east.
Plans for major sea defence work across the county have followed funding from the Welsh Government.
But last week Cllr Cheryl Carlisle criticised Network Rail for not investing in the seafront.
Cllr Carlisle also said climate change and frequent bad storms were a risk to the promenade, the A55 and the main sewage line to the area.
The rail company, however, claim they do not own that section of the promenade but said it would be investing in land on the seafront in the vicinity in future.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Network Rail is not responsible for the maintenance of this section of the sea defence in Colwyn Bay – although of course, we welcome this major Welsh Government investment.
“For the section of sea defence that we do own and maintain in Old Colwyn, we’re planning to invest £1.6m this funding period (2019-24) so it can continue to protect the railway for future generations.”
The Welsh Government-funded coastal defences will feature a rock revetment or sea wall 32m in width and 630m in length between the bottom of the east promenade to Porth Eirias.
Pedestrian and cyclist access to the beach will be included as well as ramps and steps, a picnic area and an outdoor classroom. The promenade will also be heightened by around two metres and widened to better protect the coastline and offer a greater amount of space.
Other work on the promenade will include new benches, planters, trees, bins and a picnic area with seating. There will be new lighting, handrails, new street furniture, improved roads and parking and pedestrian crossing points
The total cost of the work is £35m.
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How can they invest in the Welsh railroads when we are getting so much benefit from the HR2 in England
Network rail is not a “Rail company” but the publicly owned company that own the rail infrastructure in Britain. Its, and through it the public, are the landlord, the rail companies who run services are just tenants.
If it was a “Rail company” involved it would be a very different story (why should the ‘tenant’ spend an extra penny when there’s no guarantee that the franchise or ‘lease’ will be renewed? It would be amazing and stupidity if they were.)