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.”