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Reopen Aberystwyth to Carmarthen rail line to help tackle climate change says Senedd Member

26 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
A Heart of Wales Line train (pic by Stephen Miles)

Reopening a railway between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen would help the Welsh Government reach their own climate change targets, a Senedd Member has said.

With railways in the north and south due to be upgraded, Mid and West Wales MS Cefin Campbell wants the mid-Wales track included in plans for any future transport improvements.

Currently, the people of mid-Wales had little choice but to use cars as there was almost no public transport available, the Plaid Cymru MS said.

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 month 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.

Cefin Campbell said: “Whilst I welcome announcements by Welsh Government to encourage greater use of public transport, including a new station at St Clears, greater emphasis must be placed on the reopening of west Wales railways to get Welsh climate ambitions on track.

“Wales’ currently disjointed railway infrastructure remains unfit for purpose, and in vast swathes of west Wales, residents are left with no choice but to rely on pollutive private transport to undertake their daily commutes.

“With almost a fifth of Wales’ carbon emissions generated from transport, it’s vital that an integrated, accessible transport map is placed at the heart of the Welsh Government’s ambitions.

“I have no doubt that reopening the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen line would radically change the Welsh public transport map – securing green transport and unprecedented benefits for the west Wales economy.”

‘Responsible nation’

Last week, Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, who has responsibility for transport, unveiled new maps that reveal the scale of the Metro project.

He argued that the Metro will make it the easier choice for people to use their cars less and public transport and active travel more, to significantly reduce our environmental impact and help Wales reach its Net Zero carbon target by 2050.

Deputy Minister Lee Waters said: “The Metro is not simply a transport project, it’s about changing the lives of people across Wales and is an excellent example of how investment in tackling climate change has far broader community benefits.

“Improving our public transport and active travel network routes is the right and responsible thing to do for the environment – making low carbon transport options more attractive, affordable, and easier to use – enabling people to leave their car at home particularly in the more densely populated parts of Wales linking up with active travel routes to provide door-to-door journeys in an integrated, sustainable transport network.”

He added: “Next month we will be attending COP26 – the most important COP since Paris in 2015 – and we will take a clear message to Glasgow that Wales is a globally responsible nation – ambitious projects like this prove that and show how everyone here is willing to play a part to combat global warming.”

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Grayham Jones
1 month ago

All railway 🚃 in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 to be run by wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

I hope that the WG and the UK Gov. also look at train prices, which are a rip off. Trains are far too expensive for most people to use. On the one hand they are telling people to get out of their cars and use public transport while allowing train prices to soar beyond affordability.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

For example I wanted to go to Edinburgh recently. £121 return from Colwyn Bay to Edinburgh. It is much cheaper to fly!

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

£121 looks quite good. Just checked the cheapest off peak return and it is now £143-60! The Anytime return price is £240.
Doesn’t exactly make anyone want to travel by rail.

Last edited 1 month ago by Huw Davies
j humphrys
j humphrys
30 days ago
Reply to  Huw Davies

Turku – Helsinki return (Saturday last) was 32 euros. That’s about 200Km.
It seems to vary a bit, but one can see that’s about 25 pounds.
Don’t know current Sweden price, but often rather similar.

Last edited 30 days ago by j humphrys
Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Yes the two lines mentioned should never have been closed. If ever the Senedd needed to show its metal it’s in the reinstatement and improvement of our Welsh railways. Until we become a free country surely there would be a Lab/Plaid majority for this?

Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
1 month ago

Let’s introduce a tourist tax to pay for building the lines

Bob McIntyre
Bob McIntyre
1 month ago

Messrs Williams and Davies patently haven’t travelled on the Heart of Wales line recently. A day return to Swansea was under £10 until recently which compares very favourably with the cost of similar journeys in the rest of the UK, and for a pensioner like myself, I can travel all the way to Shrewsbury/Swansea in the winter months for free! So the idea that all rail fares are high is rubbish. The problem with the HoW line is the service is dreadful. In the last 4 months 1 in 6 trains (out of the eight each day/four on Sundays or… Read more »

ForeClose
ForeClose
1 month ago

I recall as a student at Aberystwyth University back in 2000 that on of the first things that the then Welsh Assembly were going to do was reactivate the line between Carmarthen and Aber. Over twenty years later and people are still waiting. I appreciate the civil service is slow but surely this is now taking the micky?

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
29 days ago
Reply to  ForeClose

As an Aberystwyth student I travelled the line in steam just before it closed.
My last journey was after a snowstorm and it was about as good as the landscape gets

Dafydd
Dafydd
1 month ago

Its a matter of National pride that we get the north – south rail link reinstated as quickly as possible and that it be used to transport parcels and goods when ever possible to central hubs (such as Carmarthen, Aberystwyth, Machynleth, Trawsfynydd, Caernarfon and Bangor. Lets free up the roads of slow moving polluting lorries as well as cars in favour of renewably powered locomotives pulling modern spacious rolling stock with aderquate room for bikes, parcels etc. – not these buses on track machines that are loud and uncomfortable and ‘cheap’. Lets take a lesson from the Germans, Austrians and… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
30 days ago
Reply to  Dafydd

Germans, Swiss, Austrians, and folk like me, very often right wing.
But I know who you mean, oh yes.

Last edited 30 days ago by j humphrys
John Palmer
John Palmer
1 month ago

What a lovely idea. Any restoration of a railway is welcome but…… how many people are expected to travel between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth on a train through such a sparsely populated area? Cardiff and the Valleys are to have their mind bogglingly expensive metro, other urban areas are all very well served by public transport but in vast swathes of mid and west Wales we don’t even have a joined up bus service. Bus companies refuse to liaise with each other to provide connections, one to three buses a day is quite common in many areas, no help is provided… Read more »

Tim
Tim
30 days ago
Reply to  John Palmer

It is not just Carmarthen and Aberystwyth it’s Lampeter and Bangor as major stops. Reducing journey times for me at least to Birmingham by 4hours, London by 2 hours, Manchester, 4 hours, Holyhead 3hours. And to our Capital city at least 1hour, but more often 3hours. The main reason for the rail is to improve prospects for the young: better connections to colleges and work 20mins instead of an hour, easier access for visitors for the remoteness they are looking for. The other thing is it will bring businesses, opportunities, and easy access to the main hospitals, and even easier… Read more »

Gray Edmund
Gray Edmund
1 month ago

Absolutely
Should be done ASAP too much reliance on the motor vehicle if we’re serious about climate change it’s a no brainier.
Within a few years fuel prices taxes and congestion are going to price us out of our cars
Let Wales take the lead

j humphrys
j humphrys
30 days ago

If we tram-train, it should go hand in hand with new planning, and preferably by our best architects. One problem of “cheap oil” was the abandonment of such as trams, trolley buses, followed by the Beeching cuts. Other smaller things such as milk floats (battery) were almost part of our civilization. Then came the masses car, which meant housing estates that public transport could not service properly. Included should be the Adam Price idea of a new west-central eco town. Renewal is okay, but we could also do with plans such as this. See Jeremy Clarkson’s “In Britain, we are… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by j humphrys
A Edwards
A Edwards
29 days ago

Carmarthenshire are introducing new electric buses between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth I think that a far more cost effective means of public transport.

https://www.southwalesguardian.co.uk/news/19662587.carmarthenshire-council-plans-introduce-electric-buses-rural-routes/

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
29 days ago
Reply to  A Edwards

Trains can shift large numbers of people at a time if required at very low cost.
The 125 running from London to Penzance was said to use only 50 gallons of fuel for the journey fully loaded

David Smith
David Smith
20 days ago
Reply to  A Edwards

You mean like Beeching’s ‘bustitution’? How did that pan out?

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
29 days ago

Reinstatement of the line would be a massive boost to communities along the route and immediately create opportunities for tourism and structured business development for these communities.
It would be a project that would benefit the whole of the Welsh economy if handled in the right way

David Smith
David Smith
20 days ago

Butbutbut…. Transport for Wales [sic] said our infrastructure is fit for purpose as it serves English conurbations, that overarching, paramount objective that it is. And don’t forget how jolly lucky we are that great EnglandAndWales project, HS2, will be gracing us with untold benefits in the future. Honestly, we’ve never had it so good!

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