Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
Multi-million boost from UK government for Welsh railways to level up infrastructure and improve journeys for passengers
- Also published by:
- Department for Transport
Passenger journeys in Wales set to improve thanks to new funding.
- funding released to kickstart design work on upgrading Cardiff Central station
- other improvements include developing plans to upgrade digital signalling, plans to speed up journeys and increasing step-free access to stations
- follows the multi-million pound devolution of powers over the Core Valley lines to Welsh government and completion of fully electric line between Cardiff and London
Major progress has been made on ambitious upgrades to Wales’ railways following £343 million of investment to help deliver better journeys for passengers, UK government Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has set out today (21 August 2020).
The raft of schemes to be funded include kickstarting the design of the Cardiff Central station upgrade, advancing plans for cutting-edge digital signalling on the Cambrian line and speeding up journeys between Cardiff and Swansea.
Work on a new, modern design for Cardiff Central station will be funded through the release of £5.8 million. It will focus on improving access and ensuring platforms are suited for longer trains, boosting space and capacity for passengers.
The Transport Secretary has also announced £3 million to advance plans for upgraded signalling on the 241-kilometre Cambrian line from Shrewsbury Sutton Bridge Junction to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli. The planned state-of-the-art digital signalling system will modernise the network, improving the reliability of services, and support the introduction of a new fleet being rolled out across the network in December 2022.
In addition, almost £2 million has been made available for the next phase of development work on proposals to speed up journeys between Cardiff and Swansea, Chester and Llandudno Junction, and the Severn Tunnel and Cardiff, through better-aligned tracks and exploring putting additional services on the lines.
The announcement of these new projects follows major reforms to the network over the past months such as completion of a fully electric route between Cardiff and London and the devolution of powers over the Core Valley line to the Welsh government.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
The host of improvements we are delivering across Wales, from huge infrastructure upgrades to creating new and modern stations, are vital to deliver better, quicker and more convenient journeys for passengers within, into and out of Wales.
We want to transform travel for passengers and, as we build back better from COVID-19, we will ensure our investment helps to level up all parts of the UK.
By upgrading, improving, and – crucially –modernising our railways, we will make good on our promise to deliver the reliable journeys passengers deserve.
UK government Minister in Wales David TC Davies said:
Communities across Wales will benefit from this multi-million package of rail investment, aimed at delivering rail services that are fit for the future.
From proposals to speed up services, improving access for those who need it most and boosting connectivity, these improvements form part of our broader plans to level up the nations and regions of the UK as we rebuild our economy following the coronavirus.
It was confirmed in June that the Great Western Main Line is now fully electric, revolutionising train travel between Cardiff and London through quicker, more environmentally-friendly journeys. The final remaining section through the Severn Tunnel was completed following a £76 million investment from the UK government.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO added:
At Transport for Wales we are continuing with our investment programme and in the last financial year we spent £796 million transforming our rail services. This included £516 million acquiring the Core Valleys Lines, £187 million on the Wales and Borders rail service and an additional £28 million on projects and service operation.
At the start of the year we opened our Metro Infrastructure Hub in Treforest and construction has begun on our £100 million Metro Control Centre in Taff’s Well as we continue to deliver the South Wales Metro that will bring social, economic, recreational and cultural benefits to the people of Wales.
We welcome any further funding as we move forward with our transformational plans.
In March, the UK government’s commitment to empower decision making in rail at a regional level was underlined with the transfer of powers over the Core Valley lines from Network Rail to Transport for Wales. This devolution is backed by £196 million in funding for management, electrification, upgrades and other improvements on the network.
Additionally, almost £4 million has been invested towards building a new station at Bow Street between Borth and Aberystwyth to help improve connectivity and ease congestion on roads in the area. The station is expected to open early next year.
A number of stations in Wales have also benefitted from millions of UK government funding to improve accessibility for all passengers such as through new step-free routes. Grangetown, Pontypool & New Inn, Llantwit Major and Neath were awarded a total of £1.5 million in February 2020 to install new lifts under the Access for All programme, which funds smaller scale accessibility improvements. All projects are expected to complete by 2024 at the latest.
Accessibility improvements at Cadoxton station, which include a new footbridge and lifts, are set to be unveiled on 28 August 2020.
Latest News from
Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
Scheme for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to be expanded07/12/2017 19:08:05
Home Office's National Transfer Scheme to be rolled out to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Wales’s most promising scientists awarded £3.5m in UK Government Funding to bring pioneering ideas to market26/10/2020 10:20:00
The UK Government funding grant could help tackle climate change and terminal diseases by providing a to fund scientific research and vital equipment.
New Board of Trade holds first meeting featuring Welsh tech entrepreneur Anne Boden20/10/2020 12:05:00
The Board will play an important role in Britain's trade strategy.
Welsh Secretary meets business leaders on EU transition19/10/2020 15:05:00
The meeting included representatives from organisations including CBI Wales and Federation of Small Business Wales to discuss upcoming changes to the way businesses interact with the EU.
63,700 pensioners in Wales to automatically benefit from £140 winter bill discount16/10/2020 13:10:00
Nearly 65,000 vulnerable pensioners in Wales will receive a winter windfall of £140 off their fuel bills thanks to the UK Government’s efforts working with energy firms to cut their costs.
Covid support for Welsh businesses - Job Support Scheme expanded16/10/2020 12:32:00
Welsh Secretary welcomes the expansion of the UK Government’s Job Support Scheme.
UK Government helps more than 50,000 businesses in Wales16/10/2020 08:05:00
Businesses in Wales benefited from more than £1.3 billion in UK Government support to protect and support jobs as a result of the coronavirus.
Welsh Secretary praises outstanding achievements of Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients12/10/2020 11:48:00
The announcement was postponed from the summer in order to mark the efforts of individuals playing crucial roles during the first months of the COVID-19 effort