Calls for improved Ebbw valley service in wake of electrification plans

South Wales Argus: Calls for improved Ebbw valley service in wake of electrification plans Calls for improved Ebbw valley service in wake of electrification plans

CALLS were made for a half hourly service from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff today by a Valleys MP.

Welsh politicians welcomed today’s announcement by transport minister Justine Greening of plans to electrify Wales's Valleys Lines including the Ebbw Valley line by 2019.

The move carries the promise of slashing journey times and boosting capacity for passengers.

Nick Smith, Blaenau Gwent MP, said a campaign must now start to improve frequency on the line, and said the priority was an improved service to Cardiff.

Mr Smith said the move will "shorten rail journeys" and lead to improved track and signal infrastructure.

"We have got to campaign for improved frequency. When we surveyed passengers on the line a couple of months ago they said they wanted a half hour service or better," he said.

He said Network Rail needed to look at redoubling all or some of the Ebbw Vale line - which would allow trains to pass each other on what is currently a single track.

"Over time I would like to see a 15 minute service from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff. Our next ambition has got to be a half hourly to Cardiff," he said.

He said he would like to see services from Newport and Bristol on the line. However he added: "The priority is for improved services to Cardiff."

Alun Davies, Blaneau Gwent AM, said it was excellent news for Ebbw Vale and Blaenau Gwent.

He said: “We need to now focus on extending the service to the centre of Ebbw Vale and to include Abertillery to ensure greater rail capacity and connectivity.”

Carl Sargeant, Welsh government transport minister, said: "Electrification of the Valley Lines offers the opportunity for a step change in mobility and connectivity to employment centres for our Valleys communities, as well as a larger employment catchment area for businesses looking to invest in the region."

Comments (14)

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3:32pm Mon 16 Jul 12

Owain Vaughan says...

Nick Smith has his priorities wrong. There is already a service to Cardiff. A campaign must now start to introduce services to Newport and beyond to the east (e.g. Bristol Parkway)
Nick Smith has his priorities wrong. There is already a service to Cardiff. A campaign must now start to introduce services to Newport and beyond to the east (e.g. Bristol Parkway) Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Mon 16 Jul 12

MERoden says...

I definitely agree with Owain Vaughan. What we need now is a service from Ebbw Vale to Newport. Newport is on the up. Debenhams is coming to Newport in the new Friars Walk Shopping Centre Development. Admiral Insurance are opening a new office in Newport City Centre. Newport Market is getting a £750,000 restoration and refurbishment. There will be new cafes and Restaurants. Newport City Centre is now getting the development it needs. It just needs to be given a chance.

The Ebbw Vale to Newport rail connection is exactly what we need. People who live in Rogerstone are forced to get a bus into Newport from Rogerstone Train Station, which is crazy. A proper train service is what is needed.
I definitely agree with Owain Vaughan. What we need now is a service from Ebbw Vale to Newport. Newport is on the up. Debenhams is coming to Newport in the new Friars Walk Shopping Centre Development. Admiral Insurance are opening a new office in Newport City Centre. Newport Market is getting a £750,000 restoration and refurbishment. There will be new cafes and Restaurants. Newport City Centre is now getting the development it needs. It just needs to be given a chance. The Ebbw Vale to Newport rail connection is exactly what we need. People who live in Rogerstone are forced to get a bus into Newport from Rogerstone Train Station, which is crazy. A proper train service is what is needed. MERoden
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Mon 16 Jul 12

Mr Stuart Parry says...

Gentlemen, gentlemen, do you really think the WAG wants this line connected to Newport at all? Really? Before the so called remodelling of Newport Railway Station there was a bay or dead end platform ideally suited for a direct service from Newport to Ebbw Vale but that quickly got ripped out when the suggestion was made in public as did the crossover from the down relief line towards Park Junction and onto Ebbw Vale itself. 30 odd years ago the Council in Crumlin started talking about bringing back the passenger route to Newport and within weeks British Rail had ripped out the old Railway Station platform at Crumlin. The Welsh Government don't want Newport and neither does Network fail and I will believe electrification of the South Wales Mainline when I see it too!
Gentlemen, gentlemen, do you really think the WAG wants this line connected to Newport at all? Really? Before the so called remodelling of Newport Railway Station there was a bay or dead end platform ideally suited for a direct service from Newport to Ebbw Vale but that quickly got ripped out when the suggestion was made in public as did the crossover from the down relief line towards Park Junction and onto Ebbw Vale itself. 30 odd years ago the Council in Crumlin started talking about bringing back the passenger route to Newport and within weeks British Rail had ripped out the old Railway Station platform at Crumlin. The Welsh Government don't want Newport and neither does Network fail and I will believe electrification of the South Wales Mainline when I see it too! Mr Stuart Parry
  • Score: 0

8:06pm Mon 16 Jul 12

mer8071 says...

I totally agree with MERoden. Also Mr Smith MP has stated "it should lead to improved track and signal infrastructure" which gives them no excuse in providing the service from Ebbw Vale to Newport !! If we had as many people who moan about Newport stick up for the City then the Welsh MP's might take notice.
I totally agree with MERoden. Also Mr Smith MP has stated "it should lead to improved track and signal infrastructure" which gives them no excuse in providing the service from Ebbw Vale to Newport !! If we had as many people who moan about Newport stick up for the City then the Welsh MP's might take notice. mer8071
  • Score: 0

7:57am Tue 17 Jul 12

westmon says...

Why on earth would people want to go to Newport. if they need to get to Newport from Ebbw Vale get off in Cross Keys . and catch a bus which leaves every 7 minutes from there.
Why on earth would people want to go to Newport. if they need to get to Newport from Ebbw Vale get off in Cross Keys . and catch a bus which leaves every 7 minutes from there. westmon
  • Score: 0

9:37am Tue 17 Jul 12

Owain Vaughan says...

westmon wrote:
Why on earth would people want to go to Newport. if they need to get to Newport from Ebbw Vale get off in Cross Keys . and catch a bus which leaves every 7 minutes from there.
Who are you to question what other people want to do? Why should people be forced off a train and onto a bus? It's exactly this sort of pointlessly negative attitude that got us to this ridiculous situation in the first place!
[quote][p][bold]westmon[/bold] wrote: Why on earth would people want to go to Newport. if they need to get to Newport from Ebbw Vale get off in Cross Keys . and catch a bus which leaves every 7 minutes from there.[/p][/quote]Who are you to question what other people want to do? Why should people be forced off a train and onto a bus? It's exactly this sort of pointlessly negative attitude that got us to this ridiculous situation in the first place! Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

10:12am Tue 17 Jul 12

Valley-Dragon says...

As someone who regularly uses this line, I would much rather see more frequent trains to cardiff than a train to Newport.
Having visited the town recently for the Big Splash festival I would question what there is to attract people to catch a train to Newport town centre rather than go to Cardiff. Perhaps the only two things are the few jobs available in Newport and the chance to catch a connecting train to England.
There certainly seems to be more appetite for improved Cardiff trains than a Newport train from people in my community.
As someone who regularly uses this line, I would much rather see more frequent trains to cardiff than a train to Newport. Having visited the town recently for the Big Splash festival I would question what there is to attract people to catch a train to Newport town centre rather than go to Cardiff. Perhaps the only two things are the few jobs available in Newport and the chance to catch a connecting train to England. There certainly seems to be more appetite for improved Cardiff trains than a Newport train from people in my community. Valley-Dragon
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Bridgeboy says...

Must argee with Valley Dragon. I have no appetite for a train service to Newport . It's simple there is nothing in Newport that would stop any train use going to Cardiff.. Newport must face up to facts. They didn't want to know at the start and now losing out big style. Just compare your so called shopping street to the several in cardiff.
Must argee with Valley Dragon. I have no appetite for a train service to Newport . It's simple there is nothing in Newport that would stop any train use going to Cardiff.. Newport must face up to facts. They didn't want to know at the start and now losing out big style. Just compare your so called shopping street to the several in cardiff. Bridgeboy
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Tue 17 Jul 12

chelsea fatboy says...

13 direct buses an hour from Cross Keys and Risca to Newport during the day, so what is the point of getting the one train an hour to Rogerstone to then get on a bus, just as well use one of the many buses, but if a direct train ran from the Western Valley to Newport peoples plans may change......
13 direct buses an hour from Cross Keys and Risca to Newport during the day, so what is the point of getting the one train an hour to Rogerstone to then get on a bus, just as well use one of the many buses, but if a direct train ran from the Western Valley to Newport peoples plans may change...... chelsea fatboy
  • Score: 0

7:25pm Tue 17 Jul 12

PontyPeter says...

The point of the train going to Newport (which you all seem to have missed) is that it wouldn't terminate there, but form a very useful service to either Bristol Parkway or Bristol TM.
The point of the train going to Newport (which you all seem to have missed) is that it wouldn't terminate there, but form a very useful service to either Bristol Parkway or Bristol TM. PontyPeter
  • Score: 0

8:46pm Tue 17 Jul 12

westmon says...

I work on the trains and no way would that train go further than Newport,
I work on the trains and no way would that train go further than Newport, westmon
  • Score: 0

9:34pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Bridgeboy says...

I don't mind going to cardiff, to change for Bristol, London
I don't mind going to cardiff, to change for Bristol, London Bridgeboy
  • Score: 0

12:13am Wed 18 Jul 12

Howie' says...

Bridgeboy wrote:
Must argee with Valley Dragon. I have no appetite for a train service to Newport . It's simple there is nothing in Newport that would stop any train use going to Cardiff.. Newport must face up to facts. They didn't want to know at the start and now losing out big style. Just compare your so called shopping street to the several in cardiff.
They didn't want to know at the start and now losing out big style.


At the start of what?
[quote][p][bold]Bridgeboy[/bold] wrote: Must argee with Valley Dragon. I have no appetite for a train service to Newport . It's simple there is nothing in Newport that would stop any train use going to Cardiff.. Newport must face up to facts. They didn't want to know at the start and now losing out big style. Just compare your so called shopping street to the several in cardiff.[/p][/quote]They didn't want to know at the start and now losing out big style. At the start of what? Howie'
  • Score: 0

10:27am Mon 23 Jul 12

Regionalist says...

Valley-Dragon wrote:
As someone who regularly uses this line, I would much rather see more frequent trains to cardiff than a train to Newport. Having visited the town recently for the Big Splash festival I would question what there is to attract people to catch a train to Newport town centre rather than go to Cardiff. Perhaps the only two things are the few jobs available in Newport and the chance to catch a connecting train to England. There certainly seems to be more appetite for improved Cardiff trains than a Newport train from people in my community.
Well you said it. Jobs! More people from Islwyn and Blaenau Gwent commute into Newport to work every day than do to Cardiff. Anyone who thinks Cardiff is the be all and end all to our problems in the Valleys is as big a moron as this MP who is clearly trying to cash in on toeing the party line that Cardiff is big and economically strong enough to help Wales get back on it's feet. It isn't, and never has been. The WG perpetuating this myth that Cardiff is capable of providing jobs to the Valleys is nonsense, all they want is to fleece us of our cash and shaft Newport in the process. Our functional links are to Newport and the WG meddling to serve their Cardiff cronies is ruining Gwent.
[quote][p][bold]Valley-Dragon[/bold] wrote: As someone who regularly uses this line, I would much rather see more frequent trains to cardiff than a train to Newport. Having visited the town recently for the Big Splash festival I would question what there is to attract people to catch a train to Newport town centre rather than go to Cardiff. Perhaps the only two things are the few jobs available in Newport and the chance to catch a connecting train to England. There certainly seems to be more appetite for improved Cardiff trains than a Newport train from people in my community.[/p][/quote]Well you said it. Jobs! More people from Islwyn and Blaenau Gwent commute into Newport to work every day than do to Cardiff. Anyone who thinks Cardiff is the be all and end all to our problems in the Valleys is as big a moron as this MP who is clearly trying to cash in on toeing the party line that Cardiff is big and economically strong enough to help Wales get back on it's feet. It isn't, and never has been. The WG perpetuating this myth that Cardiff is capable of providing jobs to the Valleys is nonsense, all they want is to fleece us of our cash and shaft Newport in the process. Our functional links are to Newport and the WG meddling to serve their Cardiff cronies is ruining Gwent. Regionalist
  • Score: 0

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