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Funding of Almost £2m Secured to Take Forward Package of Rail Projects Across RCT

Written by on 1st July 2020

Five major transportation projects across Rhondda Cynon Taf have secured more than £1.9m of combined total funding as part of the South Wales Metro.

The schemes in Upper Boat, Treforest, Porth, the northern Cynon Valley (Aberdare to Hirwuan), and Taff Ely via the Cardiff North West line, have all received funding after successful bids were made by the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal’s Transport Authority (CCRTA) via Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, who agreed to bid on behalf of the CCRTA as the “lead Authority” to the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund.

Further information on each scheme is detailed below:

Upper Boat Park & Ride Study

£50k has been awarded to this scheme following a phase 1 WelTAG study in 19/20 to look at the Park & Ride strategy in the Treforest/Nantgarw area.  The study determined that a major Park & Ride facility at Upper Boat would be beneficial in taking traffic off the highly congested A470 corridor and shifting people out of their cars and onto rail. The next stage will be to refine options to a preferred option, review demand and compile a business case during 20/21, for potential commencement of detailed design in 21/22. This would potentially see a new station built at Upper Boat served directly off the A473 Church Village Bypass and the construction of a major rail-based Park & Ride site.

New Treforest Station

£270,000 of funding has been agreed to conclude the WelTAG work on the new Treforest station.  This funding was awarded in 2019/20 from the Local Transport Fund. Transport for Wales Rail Services are undertaking a Stage C design for a new station to the south of the current station, in close proximity to the new DWP offices.

Cardiff North-West Rail Line

This scheme has been awarded £565k to enable the further development of proposals for the major scheme, building on work carried out through Metro Plus funding in 2019/20 which saw the completion of the WelTAG Stage 1 assessment.  This would be a new rail line in to Rhondda Cynon Taf and would help to provide transport options for residents using the congested A4119. 

Aberdare – Hirwaun Rail Line Extension

£100k has been awarded to progress this scheme, which is being developed as a Metro Plus Phase 2 scheme with funding being provided by a partnership between the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and Welsh Government. During 19/20, the Council secured funding to undertake a WelTAG 1 study on options to extend public transport from Aberdare Station to Hirwaun using the rail corridor. This work is being finalised and will provide a shortlist of options, which will be developed in more detail under the WelTAG 2 study to arrive at a preferred option and business case to progress detailed design. The scheme includes consideration of new stations at Trecynon, Hirwaun and at Tower strategic development site.

Porth Transport Hub

£950k of partnership funding between the Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal has been awarded for the Metro + Phase 1 project, which will deliver a new interchange between bus and rail services at Porth, creating a new hub for buses. The wider scheme will involve a further phase of Park & Ride provision, together with improvements to walking and cycling routes to the station, electric vehicle charging points for taxis, private cars and potentially for buses. Detailed design works of the interchange building is currently ongoing, together with the progression of the arrangements for bus access, including 7 bays and a layover area. The former Barclays bank and the former Alec Jones Day Centre buildings demolished and cleared, whilst demolition will shortly commence on the former surgery building.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “I am pleased to see that five major transport schemes across Rhondda Cynon Taf have been awarded funding via the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund. 

“The allocations will allow us to take forward a number of hugely important schemes across the County that will have a hugely positive effect on the public transport opportunities available to our residents.  The Aberdare to Hirwaun rail line extension is a scheme that I have spoken on previously and I am sure that this news will be welcomed by residents in the upper Cynon Valley area.

“The Cardiff North West line extension into the Llantrisant area has long been an aspiration for many in Taff Ely and, working with other elected representatives from Cardiff City Council and the Senedd, I am pleased to see funding being allocated to progress the works which we plan to take forward to improve this vital link between the central Taff communities and Cardiff.

“I very much look forward to seeing further progress on each of the schemes over the coming months as the South Wales Metro programme continues to develop.”