Posted: Sun 23rd Jul 2023

Designs for new ‘walkway’ train station in South Wales to be shared with council this summer, sparking debate among councillors. /
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jul 23rd, 2023

DESIGNS for a ‘walkway’ station on the main South Wales to London train line are set to be shared with a council this summer.
Proposals for the station at Magor serving it and neighbouring Undy are then likely to be published by Transport for Wales and Network Rail for public consultation this autumn.
However some Monmouthshire councillors have complained that the plans are being brought as part of a package of five new train stations in South East Wales when they say it is technically possible to complete the station ahead of other work to the mainline.
Magor West councillor, Francis Taylor, said at Monmouthshire County Council’s full July meeting she understood the rail industry “may wish” to develop together the five stations, recommended by the Burns Commission which examined public transport and easing congestion on the M4 motorway around Newport, but Magor should be considered separately.
The Independent Group leader said: “The main point about Magor is it isn’t dependent on those changes to the mainline, it’s a point we need to make.”
The council supported a motion brought by Cllr Taylor to restate the authority’s support for the ‘walkway station’ which would be designed so people could walk, cycle or otherwise reach the station by public transport – and cut the need to travel to the Severn Tunnel Junction, which is two and a half miles away.
The motion committed the council to writing to Transport for Wales and Network Rail to ensure the walkway concept “is set in stone” and “further lobby for Magor with Undy Walkway station to be recognised as a ‘quick win’ for the Burns Delivery Unit, recognising Magor station has significant advantages in terms of deliverability with respect to engineering, cost and critically the climate emergency.”
Catrin Maby, the Labour cabinet member for the environment and transport, said all those aims are supported by the council, but understood why a further commitment was being asked for.
She confirmed Transport for Wales is designing the station with no parking provision other than “three of four” disabled spaces and as many “pick up and drop off” points and it is committed to the walkway concept.
But she said, while the council continues to lobby for it to be considered in advance, Transport for Wales – which commissions and provides some rail services and Network Rail that is responsible for tracks and stations across the UK – have advised as work on the South Wales mainline is required it is being progressed and designed with the other four stations.
Cllr Maby said the designs are due to go for public consultation in the autumn but it has been agreed they will be shared with the council for technical review over the summer.
The Drybridge councillor said the authority is continuing to correspond with the rail bodies, the Welsh Government and Monmouth MP David Davies in his role as Welsh secretary on the station as well as community campaigners Magor Action Group on Rail who proposed the station back in 2012.
Magor East with Undy Labour councillor John Crook, who is a member of the group, said: “We really need this station. It is tied up with the five others and it needs to be separate so a quick win can be achieved.”
He said it would serve new housing currently under construction in the area with more planned.
Portskewett councillor Lisa Dymock, who previously represented the area, said the Conservative group also backed the motion. She said: “We recognise the importance of not taking our foot off the gas, or should I say, full steam ahead?”
Monmouth Labour councillor Catherine Fookes said: “The station is absolutely essential for commuters but also young people and older people who cannot drive.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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