Gazette Article Wednesday 23rd August 2017 (see below for full press release)
Top Priorities for Ogmore Highlighted at Transport Forum
Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies held a high-powered Transport Workshop in Tondu looking at infrastructure and service improvements to rail and bus networks throughout the Ogmore Constituency; examining present and future transport links to secure growth in jobs and economic prosperity, as well as tackling inequality and helping to promote tourism.
High on the list of current concerns raised with rail operators and Transport for Wales were: overcrowding of carriages in peak-time; provision for people with disabilities; poor connectivity with buses and park-and-ride; poor condition of older rolling stock and the need for more frequent bus and rail services.
Top priorities for the future highlighted at the forum included: the need for the South Wales Metro to cover all of our valleys (including those with no rail service). To make this happen will require: rapid-transit buses; universal ticketing and synchronised timetabling – linking bus, rail, cycle and park-and-ride; exciting potential for a new ‘Bridgend Integrated Transport Hub’ to bring this together; the closure of Pencoed level crossing and real investment in the rail-bridge crossing is essential for economic development of Pencoed.
Chair of the meeting Huw Irranca-Davies AM stated: “At this crucial time when the future of rail and bus services in Wales are changing rapidly, we will make sure that the voice of Ogmore is heard loud and clear. We’ve already secured guarantees of a new Sunday Service for the Llynfi line under the new rail service, and the Welsh Government commitment to examine ways to increase the frequency of services on this line. This Transport Forum highlighted some key priorities for the future, and we will be widening our discussions with transport users and non-users over the coming months.”
Chris Elmore MP commented: “The UK Government’s decision to cancel South Wales electrification was deeply disappointing, as it damaged emerging proposals around Pencoed and elsewhere to boost jobs and economic growth. But working together with Welsh Government and local government, with transport operators and with local communities, we can help make exciting changes in our transport network which will link people to jobs across the valleys and into the wider South Wales Metro region.”
Bridgend Council Leader Councillor Huw David added: “Bridgend Railway Station is already one of the busiest in Wales, and it needs to be transformed into a hub to serve all our towns and valleys, linking rail and bus and car and cycle with jobs and opportunities. There is a bright future for all our communities if we can make travel easier wherever you live, and better connect communities locally and across South Wales. We’re all determined to make that happen.”
Attendees of meeting: Chris Elmore MP, Bridgend County Borough Council Leader Councillor Huw David, representatives of councils, current rail franchisee Arriva Trains Wales, Transport for Wales, Network Rail, Bridgend Coalition for Disabled People and regular service users.