£119m EU funding secured to progress South Wales Metro

4 Oct 2018 12:22 PM

£119m of EU funding has been secured to progress work on the South Wales Metro, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, yesterday confirmed.

Work is underway to transform the current Core Valley Lines rail network as part of the South Wales Metro Phase 2 programme, which will provide a faster and more frequent service for the heads of the valleys stations and a direct connection to Cardiff Bay.

The investment will go towards improving infrastructure to accommodate the doubling of the number of trains to the heads of the valleys stations from two per hour to four. It will also be used to modernise stations to further improve rail users’ journeys. 

The First Minister yesterday said:

“The South Wales Metro is an important part of our ambition as a government to improve public transport and better connect our Valleys communities and people to employment opportunities.

“Today’s confirmation of £119million EU funding means we can proceed with investment in infrastructure work on the valleys lines to make faster and more efficient journeys a reality for the thousands of rail users who use these routes daily.”

The funding announcement includes:

Welcoming the announcement, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, yesterday said:

“I’m pleased we are able to confirm this significant amount of EU funding for the South Wales Metro. This, along with the start of the new Wales and Borders rail contract later this month, marks considerable progress towards our plans for a modern, efficient and forward looking rail service.”

Ken Skates, who is also a member of the Valleys Taskforce, which was established to improve connectivity and encourage economic growth in the South Wales Valleys, also yesterday said, 

“We’ve listened to passengers concerns and put their needs at the centre of our plans around the new rail contract and South Wales Metro. Today’s funding will be used to provide faster services, with modern facilities, and provide better connection throughout the Valleys.”

The Welsh Government is also applying for a further £40million plus in EU funding to support Metro infrastructure enhancements, which it hopes will be secured by the end of 2018. 

Work on South Wales Metro Phase 2 is expected to be completed by 2023.