Agenda item

Opportunity for Group Members to ask about other projects (such as Abergavenny, Chepstow and Magor Stations)


It was acknowledged that there are accessibility issues at Chepstow Station and explained that rail infrastructure funding is not devolved but the Minister is pressing the UK government for full devolution of funding and powers.  In the interim, additional funding is requested for a number of stations with accessibility problems that didn’t receive (CP6) funding. Abergavenny Station was successful in a bid for funding for accessibility work over the next five years. Chepstow Station is included in a mid-tier submission for the next round of funding; decision to be expected in April 2020. Welsh Government and Transport for Wales are supporting this application.


A Group Member stated that the decision on which stations are adapted rests with the DfT and very strong representation would be needed by Welsh Government to get an allocation of funding that would enable an accessible footbridge at Chepstow.


It was considered to be unacceptable to wait for three years for the introduction of one train per hour and was suggested that any rolling stock could be utilised to provide this service earlier.  It was responded that this was the service offered when the bid model was accepted and nothing can be added until 2022/23.  Whilst the services are part of the contract, Transport for Wales is working with Welsh Government on the possibility of earlier changes to the timetable. 


A suggestion was made regarding easing the regulations on valid tickets to provide more options for passengers between Bristol and Lydney. It was confirmed that the message had been passed to the right people, and that there is also an exercise to change the zones, and to look at fare consistency. 


In response to a question about Abergavenny Station, it was confirmed that the DfT has committed funds and design work has commenced e.g. lift and positioning of signals.  There will be public consultation in 2020.  The aim is to make the station as accessible as possible with the Welsh Government committing extra funding to become a Disability Wales pilot station. County Councillor Woodhouse requested that officer are kept informed.  It was confirmed that a Regional stakeholder manager is to be appointed to lead communications.


Efforts to better integrate buses with stations were requested and contact details between Transport for Wales and the Friends of the 65 Bus will be shared.


A Member highlighted the need for the Traws Cymru bus service to link with Chepstow and Monmouth Metro/ Metro Plus and that the Metro should go as far as Chepstow to better connect services.  More frequent services between Cardiff and Cheltenham stopping at Chepstow were requested. It was responded that transport for Wales is looking at the population, where people are working/living, major development sites etc. to determine their needs. As part of these studies, particular issues have been identified in Monmouthshire where a large proportion of the population have no access to Metro or Metro plus schemes.  It was added that the corridor between the Severn crossings and Newport is the subject of a detailed study and Transport for Wales will feed in knowledge to Welsh Government accordingly. 


A Member referred to the decision to reduce the number of applications for new station from 12 to 4 querying how much analytical work has been passed to Welsh Government.  It was confirmed that Transport for Wales is pushing evidence based decisions.


It was requested that timetable leaflets are revised to include details of Bristol and London connections from the Chepstow line. In response to a question, it was thought that open access bids were removed because of missing or insufficient evidence. It was confirmed that improved services to Bristol and London are a high priority.


The offer to return to a future meeting to provide an update on next steps was welcomed.