Huw Irranca-Davies MP, Janice Gregory AM and local BCBC Councillors met at Maesteg station recently to continue the campaign for a half hourly train service on the Maesteg line. In the coming weeks the Llynfi Valley Labour branch will be organising a petition to support the campaign.
It is evident that the enhancement of the Maesteg line is urgently needed to meet passenger demand. In the first ten years of the Arriva Trains Wales franchise from 2003-2013 the Maesteg line saw line growth, according to railfuture, of 49.63% yet there have only been 3 additional train services since 2003.
The renewal of the Wales and Border Franchise is due in 2018 and the provision of the half hourly service, later evening trains and Sunday services should be built into any agreement. The introduction of a Sunday service is essential as presently the Llynfi Valley is the only South Wales valley without a Sunday service.
We warmly welcome the electrification of the London Paddington to Swansea and South Wales Valleys lines, in particular the commitment to overhead electrification of the Cardiff Central to Maesteg line by 2019.
The electrification and introduction of a half hourly service will strengthen the east-west economic corridor, boost the mobility of our valley based communities, and allow for a much broader employment catchment area. In particular, electrification will be significantly more environmentally friendly, reduce journey times, and allow for much lower maintenance costs.
Huw said, “Maesteg to Cardiff is an important and popular commuter route. Yet at present many of the morning and evening peak services have standing room only. The introduction of a half hourly service would significantly benefit the wholeline and all communities from Maesteg to Tondu, Sarn to Pencoed, Llanharan to Pontyclun and into Cardiff.”
Janice Gregory AM said, “The Maesteg line has proven itself in encouraging people to use public transport regularly. It is vitally important that the line becomes even more effective with the addition of a half hourly service.”
Mel Nott, Leader of BCBC, said, “The introduction of a half hourly train service would help strengthen the Bridgend County Borough appeal as a place to both live and work.”