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Work starts to re-open ‘gateway to Pembrokeshire’ railway station

05 Feb 2022 3 minutes Read
GWR St. Clears by Trainiac is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

Work begins today at a railway station which has been closed for 50 years to re-open ‘the gateway to Pembrokeshire’

In a scheme worth £4.7m paid for by the UK Government, St Clears station is being upgraded in order to become a recognised stop once again on the Carmarthen to Haverfordwest line.

The groundwork and surveying will begin today and continue until the end of March, and to minimise disruption to rail passengers, work will go on during the night as well as the day.

The improvement to the station is the culmination of long campaign from the locals and the town council who held public meetings and launched the ‘Next Stop St Clears campaign’.

The station at St Clears opened originally in 1854 and served the community for the next 110 years. It was closed in 1964 following the notorious Beeching report which recommended nationwide railway infrastructure cuts which were introduced by Harold Macmillan’s Conservative Government in 1963.

Local community efforts to have it re-opened have been ongoing since the 1970s, with momentum gathering in 2010 when a poll and a social media campaign, driven by the local press and people from the area, attracted significant support.

In March 2020 a petition was launched calling on the National Assembly to urge the Welsh Government to recommend St Clears to Network Rail for a new railway station.

It said: “St Clears and the surrounding communities will benefit greatly from re-opening the railway station, closing the gap in the West Wales line and enabling more people to use the train.

“We believe a station in St Clears would bring many benefits, including social inclusion, reducing carbon footprint and increased tourism in the area.”

Huge benefit

The campaign then ramped up last year when the location was chosen by the Department of Transport as one of four station re-opening bids out of 12 to go through to the final level.

The campaigning has attracted backing from previous AMs Angela Burns and William Powell, and then from Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart MP and Samuel Kurtz, MS for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

Simon Hart said: “This has been a long haul for St Clears and so it is really exciting to see work finally starting.

“This is happening thanks to a UK Government grant of nearly £5 million and it will be of huge benefit to the whole area.”

Samuel Kurtz added: “This is well-overdue and shows what can be achieved when all levels of government work together.

“Whilst the timescales are ambitious, it’s fabulous to see things are finally underway.

“Let’s now hope Welsh Government support St Clears Station with quality trains and a suitable timetable.”


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Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
3 months ago

Hopefully it will include a sensible station building and not a draughty bus shelter.

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
3 months ago

These politicians must be desperate for any positive exposure in the media.
Please keep us posted in the unlikely event that. they use this restored facility on a regular basis going forward

Rob
Rob
3 months ago

St Clears is in Carmarthenshire. It would be nice if services between Milford Haven – Haverfordwest – Carmarthen operated on an hourly basis rather than two hours

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Gosh, Simon Hart is supporting something that improves life for Weslsh residents. Must write that on the calendar as a day to remember.

What we relly need is to have lines to Fishguard and Milford electrified which would make for a low carbon transport system in southern Wales. Yes, hourly trains would be nice too (once Covid is over and long distance train travel becomes safe again).

Kev
Kev
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

If its not going to be electrified from Cardiff to Swansea I wouldn’t be holding my breath for the West Wales network!

Kev
Kev
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Since any train running east of Whitland will pass through St. Clears, the service from there to Carmarthen really should be more than two hourly as the Fishguard and Pembroke Dock services will also call.

With all due respect, and hourly service to and from Milford Haven is perhaps asking a bit much. I’d doubt it was that frequent at the apogee of rail usage in the 1930s.

CapM
CapM
3 months ago

Surely if there’s a “Gateway to Pembrokeshire” it’s the next station to the west – Whitland (Carmarthenshire) which is about 10kms from St Clears.

Rob
Rob
3 months ago
Reply to  CapM

I’m not sure if there is a ‘gateway’ to the county but the county’s capital is Haverfordwest. It is the hub for the bus network in the county, hence why it needs more frequent rail links.

Quornby
Quornby
3 months ago

Doesn”t Hart understand that “UK” goverment money is actually re-cycled tax take and that the Welsh pay taxes too?

Kev
Kev
3 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Well since, whether you like it or not, you’re part of the UK the answer is that he does.

Be thankful it’s not taxes raised by the Senedd that’s paying for it, since.its about a hundred miles west of where all their money is spent!

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