Park and ride ... and save the best part of £1bn

I was pleased to read the news that park and ride facilities are to be built or extended at Abercynon, Bargoed, Rhymney and Pengam.

     £6m park and ride scheme approved

     

The investment in reinstating and improving rail services has been one of the big success stories of devolution. Both in Wales and Scotland we have used our money to deliver projects that we would have had to wait years for (or not get at all) if we depended on Network Rail.

Of course we could go much further. Only a few days ago we heard that estimates for the new M4 across the Gwent levels had gone up from £350m to something more like £1bn.

In my opinion this is a ludicrous sum of money to spend on relieving a little rush hour congestion. It would be much better to build more park and ride schemes designed to take commuters in particular off the motorway and on to rail instead. Some large park and ride sites, just off or not far from the motorway, could easily take people into the centres of Newport and Cardiff. New stations near Magor (J23a), Dyffryn (J28) and Miskin (J34) would seem to be good locations to me.

And, if the Welsh Government and Welsh European Funding Office can keep up their good negotiating work, we might even get the European Regional Development Fund to again come up with a sizeable chunk of the funding.

Here are some nice quotes from the Welsh Government's website:

Ieuan Wyn Jones, said it would allow more people to swap their car for the train and reduce congestion.

“I’m delighted to announce the go-ahead for this important scheme, which will not only help reduce road congestion but continue the economic regeneration of the upper valleys.

“Park and Ride schemes are vital to fulfilling our One Wales goal of delivering a system of sustainable transport fit for a 21st century Wales, and deliver on our plans for a drastic cut in carbon emissions."

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The Chair of Sewta, Councillor Jeffrey James of the Vale of Glamorgan said:

“These schemes reflect the value of close collaboration between Sewta, the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) and the Welsh Assembly Government. Park and Ride provision at rail stations is an important way of encouraging greater use of rail services. These important new facilities on the Rhymney Valley and Taff Vale lines will significantly increase access to the rail network and encourage Valleys’ car users to change to rail for a significant part of their journey removing traffic from the busy routes into Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Cardiff.”

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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Or even better, develop proper public transport integration, then people could take the bus to the train without having to pay twice. Every city in Europe has it, the Welsh Assembly Government is in favour of it, it is in the Sewta Regional Transport Plan, so get a move on and do it!

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