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