Improvements To Public Transport Nothing about a direct bus service to Cardiff from Cynon Valley WHY?
Further details have been revealed about the significant improvements to public transport in Rhondda Cynon Taf, following a presentation given to Councillors from Jeff Collins, one of Transport for Wales’ senior figures.
Over the next few years, rail and bus services across Wales and the Borders are set to be transformed through £5bn of investment, including the establishment of the South Wales Metro, which is supported by £738m of City Deal funding.
The introduction of the Metro will transform train services on the Valleys lines, which serves communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf, through the provision of more frequent and faster services.
A key part of these improvements will involve the conversion of the existing heavy rail into light rail, which will run on a combination of battery, diesel and electricity (tri-mode) through electrification of sections of the Valleys lines.
£9m has also been allocated to the relocation of Treforest station to Nantgarw in order to reflect the growing employment numbers based in the industrial estate area, and this signifies the area’s growing importance in the South East Wales region, complemented by the recent announcement that a new £100m train depot would also be located in Taffs Well.
In conjunction with increased services and substantially improved rolling stock, Transport for Wales have also announced that over £100m has been allocated to making considerable improvements to a range of passenger facilities, including:
- £40m to upgrade station facilities, such as toilets, waiting rooms and information screens.
- £20m to improve station retail and catering offers
- £15m to improve accessibility and step-free access
- £15m for 1,500 new car parking spaces at stations across the region.
- £10m to create community spaces at stations.
- £15m to introduce smart ticket machines; and,
- £10m for free Wi-Fi at all stations, which forms part of the wider end-to-end access which will be available on 85% of all journeys by 2024.
Additionally, the development of the South Wales Metro is set to create significant employment opportunities, through an estimated 600 jobs, including 200 new on-train customer service staff, and an additional 450 apprenticeships (excluding construction employment), providing vital opportunities to residents in Rhondda Cynon Taf and communities in the wider region.
Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Councillor Andrew Morgan, who also has responsibility for Transport and Highways, said: “The South Wales Metro promises to transform public transport links across the Cardiff Capital Region by providing faster and better quality services, which is something that I have long campaigned for.
“These improvements are absolutely essential if we are to achieve the wider objectives of the City Deal in creating employment and developing sustainable communities across the region.
“This is not about getting people in and out of Cardiff, but a more comprehensive approach that recognises the economic importance of the capital, whilst also opening up the enormous potential that the Valleys and the wider South East Wales region has to offer in terms of employment and enterprise.
“We have already seen this starting to come to fruition in RCT, after the Department of Work and Pensions recently announced that they would be relocating to the Treforest area - with around 1,700 people employed there; whilst Transport for Wales and KeolisAmey will be based at the Taff Vale site in Pontypridd once completed.
“The £100m investment to develop the new train depot for development in Taffs Well is another significant boost for RCT, and signifies the growing role that the lower Pontypridd area is playing in driving forward the region.
“Such huge employment numbers will require a modern and fit for purpose public transport system, and I am confident that the South Wales Metro will provide just that.”