TRADITIONAL political rivalries were set aside yesterday as the late Blaenau Gwent AM Peter Law was commemorated at the new Ebbw Vale train station.

Plaid Cymru Wales south east AM Jocelyn Davies unveiled a plaque in honour of the Independent AM and his tireless efforts to get the railway running.

Friends and family attended what a spokesman said was a "quiet, family occasion" at the Garden city station.

The Ebbw Valley line finally becomes operational on Friday after business leaders and politicians have campaigned for years to make it happen.

The plaque, which is on a wall on the approach to the platform, simply commemorates the life and work of Mr Law, who died in 2006, aged 58, after suffering a brain tumour.

A life-long Labour Party Member and AM for Blaenau Gwent, Mr Law left the party in protest over the all-women shortlist imposed on the Blaenau Gwent constituency for the 2005 General Election.

He went on to win the seat and became Independent MP for Blaenau Gwent as well as maintaining his role as AM.

Throughout his career he was a champion of the planned rail route for the valleys and like many pushed for the line to be linked to Newport. No date has been set for this.

After his death, his wife Trish Law stood as an Independent AM and won the seat in a by-election. She subsequently held onto it at last year's Assembly elections.

Today she said the unveiling was a "proud day" for the family.

"I very much appreciate this fine gesture by the Welsh Assembly Government, which stands as a reminder for all that Peter stood for," she said.

  • Ms Davies will be among those accompanying transport minister Ieuan Wyn Jones when officially opens the line in Rogerstone railway station on Friday.

It will be followed by a journey along the line calling at Risca, Pontymister, and Newbridge on the way to Ebbw Vale Parkway.