A PACKED meeting at Caerleon Town Hall this Saturday, November 25, gave a “clear-cut verdict” on local support for a new train station.

Activists and residents listened to Ted Hand and Phil Inskip, both leading figures in the successful Magor campaign, before voting overwhelmingly to campaign for a new station of their own.

The former Caerleon station, which is still visible below the bridge on Lodge Road, closed in 1962.

Despite conversations around a replacement in recent years, the town has been omitted from Transport for Wales’ plans which will see new stations for Newport West, Somerton and Llanwern.

South Wales Argus: Caerleon Civic Society hosted the meeting to gauge support - and the verdict was clear

Caerleon Civic Society chair Chris Thomas, hosting the meeting, emphasised the group’s intention to gauge support rather than endorse it – but the support was clear even across party divides.

“It was emphasised at the beginning of the meeting that it was non-party political,” said Welsh Labour councillor Stephen Cocks. “The purpose was to make this a community campaign with everyone pulling together.

“There will be a need to win over bodies such as Transport for Wales and Network Rail. There will also be local issues to resolve, such as on street parking, but there are also many pluses,” said Cllr Cocks.

“Rail travel is becoming much more geared to leisure travel and Caerleon has the potential to become a heritage destination of international importance.”

He warned the campaign would be long and challenging - something echoed by Mr Hand who likened the Magor campaign to a “David and Goliath task”.

“A key to success in Magor has been the new concept of a walkway station,” he said. “People walk or cycle to the station. There is no parking, other than a small number of disabled spaces, and there are measures to control parking on surrounding streets.”

South Wales Argus: Magor campaigner Ted Hand warned attendees of the "David and Goliath task" ahead

Former Welsh Conservative campaigner for Newport West Michael Enea, praising the “political unity” on the issue, expressed his preference for a “drop and drive” station to accommodate disabled travellers who may not be able to walk.

Laura Anne Jones, Welsh Conservative MS for South Wales East, said: “Once again, people in my region are feeling let down and forgotten about by the Welsh Labour Government.

“The time to act is now and I will be supporting the people of Caerleon in their bid to finally see the station, which would undoubtedly be well-used, built.

“It is imperative that we, of all party colours, now work together to put pressure on TfW and the Welsh Labour Government to make a railway station for Caerleon a reality.”

TfW is undertaking a Metro Enhancement Framework study which will look at the possibility of new stations on the Marches Line, alongside bus and active travel options between Caerleon and Newport, a Welsh Government spokesperson has said.