‘Our Valleys, Our Communities, Our Stations’ – Valleys Taskforce comes to Ogmore

Panel members:  Meeting Chairperson Ogmore AM Huw Irranca-Davies, Transport Police, Transport for Wales, Transport for Wales Rail, Talk Valleys, Chief Executive and Cabinet Member – Bridgend County Borough Council

As part of a series of regional community events, the Welsh Government’s Ministerial Taskforce for the South Wales Valleys held a public event at Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen in Tondu providing local residents an opportunity to hear about future transport plans and to put forward their suggestions on local travel arrangements.

Organised by Transport for Wales and the Valleys Taskforce – which was set up to create lasting revitalising change in the South Wales Valleys – the meeting held a panel session chaired by Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies with representatives from Welsh Government, Transport for Wales and Bridgend County Borough Council.

A productive and informative meeting provided residents with information about the proposed plans for transport in the local area and contributions were taken from the floor with interesting suggestions for regeneration in our valleys.

Keys points from the meeting were that TfW will be introducing a Sunday rail service on the Maesteg to Cardiff rail line commencing 15th December – (this was recently confirmed during Plenary this week by the Transport Minister Ken Skates in response to a question from Huw Irranca-Davies AM).

The service will be running from 9am-9pm on Sunday, with ticket sales for December starting 8 weeks prior to the service – also via the new increased capacity carriages (current trains carry 120 people but this will be increased to 190 (per each three carriage service). This service will last from 2019-2022 until TfW roll out their brand new trains which will hold 425 passengers along the route.

Conversations continue about future growth and further enhancements of the services along with plans for increased frequency on the Maesteg line within TfW. Current studies are looking at the possible introduction of four ‘metro style’ services per hour to and from Maesteg; and the possibility of increasing frequency on the Ebbw Vale line with potential for 2 trains per hour. TfW are carrying out technical assessments on the re-use of the Llynfi Passing Loop and improvements to Tondu Station to allow this to happen. Both studies are to be completed by mid/late October.

Chair of the meeting, Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies who is also Chair of the National Assembly’s Group on Active Travel said: “My thanks to everyone who attended and took part in an excellent discussion about transport and regeneration in our valleys.

The meeting heard a wide range of quality contributions from members of the public and panel members about integration, partnerships and responsive transport ideas.

I along with many others have campaigned consistently for transport improvements across all our routes and communities and it’s great to hear that the Sunday service will be starting on 15th December.”