Station improvements across South Wales get seal of approval from local politicians

A multi-million pound scheme to improve five stations in Wales received an enthusiastic reception from politicians when they viewed progress on Friday 14 November.

Owen Smith MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, was given a tour of the refurbishment underway at Pontypridd station, while Dr Hywel Francis MP and David Rees AM visited Port Talbot Parkway station to get a closer look at the ongoing renovation.

Both stations are being regenerated as part of the £24m Wales Station Improvement Scheme, which is also funding work at Aberystwyth, Rhyl and Ystrad Mynach.

James Jackson, enhancements manager for Network Rail Wales, said: “This is an exciting time for the Welsh railway as we deliver the biggest investment since Victorian times.

“Stations are the railways’ shop front and by revitalising stations across Wales, we can cater for unprecedented passenger growth and help transform the Welsh railway into a world-class infrastructure.

“This work can act as a catalyst for further regeneration in our towns, helping to boost economic growth across Wales.”
Pontypridd station, which once boasted the longest platform in the world, is being transformed with a new station forecourt, entrance and platforms to create a “grand gateway” to the town. The work at the station includes improved lighting, CCTV and the installation of customer information screens, as well as improved access at the station with a new footbridge and lifts. A new platform is being built to enable more trains to run between Pontypridd and Cardiff in the future.

Owen Smith MP said: “Modernising Pontypridd station will transform impressions of the town for people arriving by rail and road.

“I was delighted to see for myself how the work has progressed on this project which will enhance accessibility into Pontypridd and help to boost the local economy.”

Transport Minister Edwina Hart announced in December 2013 that five stations would be regenerated as part of the £24m Wales Station Improvement Scheme. This is part of a £39m programme to improve rail stations across Wales, with £21m provided by the European Regional Development Fund and £7m Welsh Government funding.