PLANS to make improvements to Pontypool and New Inn railway station in a bid to tackle traffic congestion and improve access for passengers, are being prepared.

Torfaen council is proposing a new park and ride facility with direct access off newly built slip roads from the A4042.

A new footbridge and a lift is also planned to provide access from the car park to the station’s single island platform.

The scheme is being funded as part of the £1.2bn City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region.

It is one of several transport schemes to receive a share of £50million, with all of the projects due to start this year and reach completion by 2022.

A request for a screening opinion – which determines whether an environmental impact assessment is required as part of a planning application – has been submitted for the scheme.

Documents reveal the park and ride is planned on the northern side of the station, with a minimum of 200 spaces and coming with electric vehicle charging points.

The car park would be accessed via new slip roads from the A4042 southbound lane.

The plans could ease congestion on roads currently used to access the train station, with it hoped this traffic will be moved on the the A4042 where the proposed slip roads will be located.

“The proposed development will assist in improving the efficiency of the transport network in Pontypool, which is a key aim of the LDP (Local Development Plan),” a letter requesting the screening opinion says.

“The provision of a park and ride facility at this site will help to improve the sustainability of transport options for the people of Torfaen by providing easier access and additional parking and cycling spaces, helping to reduce the reliance on the private car.”

It is expected the number of cars on the road will reduce with the park and ride leading to more people choosing to travel by train.

Meanwhile a footbridge and lift would improve access to the station facilities.

Currently there is no way of accessing the station platform without using a subway with steps.

“The current station is not an accessible facility and inadvertently discriminates against those who exhibit protected characteristics as defined and protected by the Equalities Act 2010,” planning documents state.

Significant environmental impacts are unlikely to arise from the development, the screening opinion request claims.