‘Use it or lose it’ Newport AM on Ebbw valley line bus link

South Wales Argus: BUS LINK: AM Rosemary Butler and Wales transport minister Carl Sargeant yesterday BUS LINK: AM Rosemary Butler and Wales transport minister Carl Sargeant yesterday

A NEWPORT AM yesterday called on people to use or lose a bus link connecting the Ebbw valley line with Newport city centre.

Rosemary Butler, Newport West AM, teamed up with transport minister Carl Sargeant to take an afternoon journey from Rogerstone Railway Station to Newport railway station on the bus link.

They were the only two on the service yesterday, along with two Welsh Government officials and an Argus reporter.

There have been longstanding calls for a permanent passenger train service from Ebbw Vale to Newport – and the Argus has campaigned for more than a decade to bring it to fruition.

“It’s not been as well used as we would have hoped,”

said Ms Butler, who got on the bus with Mr Sargeant.

“We need to show the people further up what opportunities there are in Newport,”

she said. “My message to people now is use it or lose it.” Ms Butler said she didn’t think that the service had been well publicised – although it was understood that a marketing campaign is in the offing.

Mr Sargeant said the Welsh Government is trying to understand the demand for such a permanent railway service to Ebbw Vale and had invested in the service to provide evidence. “We have to demonstrate that it’s good value for money.”

He said the Welsh Government could look at a train shuttle if the need could be demonstrated following a successful pilot.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:35am Tue 17 Jul 12

Owain Vaughan says...

The "Welsh Government" know full well that no-one is going to want to get off a train and onto a bus. This whole exercise is just a smokescreen to justify not providing a decent through rail service.

The idea of a train shuttle is intriguing though. Is this the first sign of some common sense?
The "Welsh Government" know full well that no-one is going to want to get off a train and onto a bus. This whole exercise is just a smokescreen to justify not providing a decent through rail service. The idea of a train shuttle is intriguing though. Is this the first sign of some common sense? Owain Vaughan

12:17pm Tue 17 Jul 12

JE Charles says...

The bus link is unused as who wants to get off the train, onto a bus, and negotiate the dreadful new station at Newport, especially tortuous for older people if you have to get to Platform 4. It is essential that both the second phase stations and the Newport service are delivered before electrification starts. I seem to recall that the original plan for Phase 2 was for everything to be completed by 2011.
The bus link is unused as who wants to get off the train, onto a bus, and negotiate the dreadful new station at Newport, especially tortuous for older people if you have to get to Platform 4. It is essential that both the second phase stations and the Newport service are delivered before electrification starts. I seem to recall that the original plan for Phase 2 was for everything to be completed by 2011. JE Charles

2:57pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Howie' says...

“It’s not been as well used as we would have hoped,”
said Ms Butler, who got on the bus with Mr Sargeant.

No kidding Sherlock! You were told that before you started the service.

As Owain Vaughan says 'This whole exercise is just a smokescreen to justify not providing a decent through rail service'.

The next statement will be 'Well no one uses the bus to/ from Newport so no one will use the train'.

Why don't they use the same criteria for the link to Newport as they used for the business case to justify reopening the line to Ebbw Vale? Which grossly underestimated the amount of people who would use the service.
“It’s not been as well used as we would have hoped,” said Ms Butler, who got on the bus with Mr Sargeant. No kidding Sherlock! You were told that before you started the service. As Owain Vaughan says 'This whole exercise is just a smokescreen to justify not providing a decent through rail service'. The next statement will be 'Well no one uses the bus to/ from Newport so no one will use the train'. Why don't they use the same criteria for the link to Newport as they used for the business case to justify reopening the line to Ebbw Vale? Which grossly underestimated the amount of people who would use the service. Howie'

4:02pm Tue 17 Jul 12

chelsea fatboy says...

13 direct buses an hour during the day from Risca & Cross Keys to Newport, at least 8 buses an hour from the Newbridge area, so who in their right mind is going to get a train, then get off onto a bus when you have a more frequent bus service, if the rail link into Newport ever happens maybe then people will use it
13 direct buses an hour during the day from Risca & Cross Keys to Newport, at least 8 buses an hour from the Newbridge area, so who in their right mind is going to get a train, then get off onto a bus when you have a more frequent bus service, if the rail link into Newport ever happens maybe then people will use it chelsea fatboy

4:55pm Tue 17 Jul 12

pinpong says...

I agree with all the comments above. This is just lip service from the welsh gov.
Wasnt this one of the things that Rosie promised during the election to fight for. She hjas let us down again.
I agree with all the comments above. This is just lip service from the welsh gov. Wasnt this one of the things that Rosie promised during the election to fight for. She hjas let us down again. pinpong

5:34pm Tue 17 Jul 12

RPRisca says...

As has been seen previously, and again this time, the bus link is badly publicised, separately ticketed and stands no better chance of any popularity. When I used it my onward ticket was refused at the barrier at Newport station.
Perhaps a shuttle train service might help but all this needs to be sorted before electrification comes along or it never will be!
As has been seen previously, and again this time, the bus link is badly publicised, separately ticketed and stands no better chance of any popularity. When I used it my onward ticket was refused at the barrier at Newport station. Perhaps a shuttle train service might help but all this needs to be sorted before electrification comes along or it never will be! RPRisca

6:47pm Tue 17 Jul 12

gingertom says...

We need this rail link to newport asap from the valleys and the WAG need to stop insulting the intelligence of the general public.
This article is nothing but a diversion tactic, they are delaying the inevitable and at the end of the day this line should have been sorted out the same time as the cardiff line.
We need this rail link to newport asap from the valleys and the WAG need to stop insulting the intelligence of the general public. This article is nothing but a diversion tactic, they are delaying the inevitable and at the end of the day this line should have been sorted out the same time as the cardiff line. gingertom

10:10am Wed 18 Jul 12

PontyPeter says...

What nonsense from the Assembly.
You don't gauge demand for a through train service by using a bus connection. You are measuring two different demands here. While a train shuttle is an interesting idea, it will be no more successful than the bus. Who will want to change trains at Rogerstone?
No. The only option is a through service from Ebbw Vale to Newport which continues onwards to form a service to Bristol. This needs further doubling of the track towards Ebbw Vale. The line also needs to be extended to Ebbw Vale Town before electrification is introduced.
Demand for the original service was vastly underestimated by the planners. They will, no doubt, be making the same mistake here
Consideration also needs to be given to an Ebbw Vale-Newport-Cardiff route. This ran successfully for a few days earlier this year when engineering work blocked the direct link at Ebbw Junction. Trains successfully reversed at Newport.
What nonsense from the Assembly. You don't gauge demand for a through train service by using a bus connection. You are measuring two different demands here. While a train shuttle is an interesting idea, it will be no more successful than the bus. Who will want to change trains at Rogerstone? No. The only option is a through service from Ebbw Vale to Newport which continues onwards to form a service to Bristol. This needs further doubling of the track towards Ebbw Vale. The line also needs to be extended to Ebbw Vale Town before electrification is introduced. Demand for the original service was vastly underestimated by the planners. They will, no doubt, be making the same mistake here Consideration also needs to be given to an Ebbw Vale-Newport-Cardiff route. This ran successfully for a few days earlier this year when engineering work blocked the direct link at Ebbw Junction. Trains successfully reversed at Newport. PontyPeter

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree