SEWTA consult on multi-million-pound rail strategy for the Valleys and south Gwent
A MULTI-MILLION rail strategy that proposes new stations and lines including a link between Ebbw Vale and Newport has been put out to consultation.
The regional transport consortium Sewta, the South East Wales Transport Alliance, has launched a consultation on how it thinks services should be improved in the region up to 2030.
It includes new services on the Ebbw Valley line and new stations in the south of Gwent including Caerleon, St Mellons, Coedkernew and Llanwern, as well as other services across the region.
Sewta cannot carry out the projects alone and the schemes would need funding from other sources. The proposals form a base of evidence to support the concept of a South East Wales Metro.
On the Ebbw Valley line, the plan includes proposed extensions from Ebbw Vale Parkway to Ebbw Vale Town, Llanhilleth to Abertillery and Ebbw Vale to Newport as well as new stations at Crumlin and Pye Corner in Newport.
Under the strategy the Cardiff to Bristol line would see additional calls at Severn Tunnel Junction.
Sewta is also proposing new services on the Abergavenny and Chepstow line, and services between Caerphilly, Machen and Newport.
Meanwhile it also proposes electrifying the Abergavenny to Shrewsbury and Chepstow to Gloucester lines.
The plans to extend the railway to Ebbw Vale Town and build a new station at Pye Corner already have Welsh Government backing.
The cost of building the schemes listed in the strategy would average £19.5 million a year and would cost between £13 million and £15 million a year to run.
However it says increasing revenues would offset additional operating costs, saying that the planned electrification of the Valleys lines would produce a substantial reduction in operating costs and safety.
Bridgend councillor Phil White, chairman of Sewta, said: “This strategy update demonstrates how electrification is strengthening the case for a host of further enhancements to the regional rail network.
"This report sets out an exciting programme for the next two decades. I would encourage communities and businesses throughout the region to let us know what they think about the priorities set out in the report.”
Sewta is a consortium made up of local authorities in the South East Wales region including all five Gwent councils.
For more information visit www.sewta.gov.uk. The closing date for comments is September 30.
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