Rail users back electrification of Ebbw Valley line

ELECTRIC PLAN: The rail line at Ebbw Vale

SURVEY: Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent

First published in Gwent news South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A GWENT MP says efforts to get the Ebbw Valley line electrified were given a shot in the arm after a majority of passengers backed the proposal in a survey.

Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent, and local residents quizzed users of the rail line between March 28 and April 26.

Passengers said they wanted to see more frequent trains and sufficient room for all using the service.

Of the 345 people who took part 227 or 67.2 per cent said they supported electrification of the Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line – 18 respondents said they didn’t.

A total of 103 people said sufficient room for all passengers to sit and stand was a top priority for improvements to the service, while 85 said frequency of the trains could be improved.

However, 185 people said they were very satisfied with the punctuality and reliability of the train.

Atotal of 58.3 per cent of people said their preferred end destination for electrification was Cardiff.

Only 14.5 per cent supported extending electrification to Newport while 11.2 per cent said Bristol.

Most of the respondents – 181 – said they were using the service to commute to work or education.

A number of respondents raised the issue of extending the line into Ebbw Vale and beyond to Abertillery, with one saying the extension into Ebbw Vale and Abertillery should take priority.

Mr Smith said: “This is a shot in the arm for supporters of rail electrification of the Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line.

“People know the service is punctual and reliable – nowthey want improved frequency and more carriages at peak times to end overcrowding.”

Comments (2)

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3:20pm Wed 23 May 12

Owain Vaughan says...

There is no Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line. There is an Ebbw Vale to Newport line which then joins the Great Western main line.

Who wrote the questions on the survey anyway? Bristol, Newport and Cardiff are all due to be electrified anyway. Any plan to electrify the Ebbw Valley line would then automatically allow electric trains to any of those three destinations!
There is no Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line. There is an Ebbw Vale to Newport line which then joins the Great Western main line. Who wrote the questions on the survey anyway? Bristol, Newport and Cardiff are all due to be electrified anyway. Any plan to electrify the Ebbw Valley line would then automatically allow electric trains to any of those three destinations! Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Wed 23 May 12

PontyPeter says...

Agree with the above.
If money is going to be spent on this line, it needs first and foremost to be spent on
a) upgrading to double track to allow a half-hourly service including alternate trains to Cardiff AND Newport. The Newport trains would continue onwards to form a service to either Bristol or Hereford.
b) extend the line to Ebbw Vale town.

Either the questions for this survey were very poorly thought out, or the reporter has not really understood the results.
Abertillery is not "beyond" Ebbw Vale. This line would form a branch off the main route at Aberbeeg and was one of the original proposals when this line was in the planning stage. It was, of course, scrapped (together with the extension to Ebbw Vale town and the extra double track) when it was decided to do the job on the cheap and run the trains to Cardiff.
Agree with the above. If money is going to be spent on this line, it needs first and foremost to be spent on a) upgrading to double track to allow a half-hourly service including alternate trains to Cardiff AND Newport. The Newport trains would continue onwards to form a service to either Bristol or Hereford. b) extend the line to Ebbw Vale town. Either the questions for this survey were very poorly thought out, or the reporter has not really understood the results. Abertillery is not "beyond" Ebbw Vale. This line would form a branch off the main route at Aberbeeg and was one of the original proposals when this line was in the planning stage. It was, of course, scrapped (together with the extension to Ebbw Vale town and the extra double track) when it was decided to do the job on the cheap and run the trains to Cardiff. PontyPeter
  • Score: 0

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