South Wales 'Metro'

Dai Corner

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Why is it too much effort to build new, or re-open old railway infrastructure, but building new roads, local govt won't hesitate to buy up the land and property needed to make it happen? Apart from some industrial units immediately after Penarth station and the houses on Birch Lane/Rowan Close, rebuilding the line to Sully should be relatively straightforward.

Meanwhile, the Dinas Powys bypass proposal has gained a lot of support in recent years but ultimately will solve nothing, and will make traffic congestion even worse when it converges on the Merrie Harrier junction in Llandough, which is already well over capacity. Major enhancements to the capacity of the VoG line are needed instead, both in terms of longer trains and improved infrastructure.

Then there's the new road to the airport in the Western Vale, that the VoG council was keen on, again this will involve buying up land and property to build it.

Unfortunately, buying up some built on land and property to rebuild rail lines and undo the extremely bad and ill thought out decisions of the 1960s is inevitable. Or we will simply need to live with increasingly unmanagable and unsustainable traffic congestion.
Or even buying up land and property to build a new road and then changing your mind!
 
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Meerkat

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Not really comparing apples with apples.
Buying land for a road through open land isn’t as controversial as demolishing homes in towns, even for a road.
 

Brissle Girl

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Even if there is no need for demolition, think of the planning process for the Portishead railway, where the tracks are still in existence, albeit the junction with the docks branch is now disconnected. A full blown national infrastructure planning process is about to get underway. Even if that wasn't necessary, a Transport and Works Act would still be needed, as required for the Ordsall Curve (how long did that take?) and the Oxford Road corridor (still sitting with the SoS after the relevant bodies have spent how much going through the process). Without getting into the detail of those particular schemes, it is painfully slow and expensive to go through the process for what would be a relatively short additional length of line. So whilst I would love to see it happen, I think the view would be that it is too hard and take up too much time of officials/experts (and cost) for a relatively small benefit for relatively well heeled residents.
 

Llanigraham

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Why is it too much effort to build new, or re-open old railway infrastructure, but building new roads, local govt won't hesitate to buy up the land and property needed to make it happen? Apart from some industrial units immediately after Penarth station and the houses on Birch Lane/Rowan Close, rebuilding the line to Sully should be relatively straightforward.
Look at the aerial view of those 2 streets and count the number of houses involved, plus the ones either side that may also need purchasing. I estimate there is at least 100 houses involved, and the internet gives an average house value of £460,000.
Now do you see what this proposal is not very practical?

Unfortunately, buying up some built on land and property to rebuild rail lines and undo the extremely bad and ill thought out decisions of the 1960s is inevitable. Or we will simply need to live with increasingly unmanagable and unsustainable traffic congestion.
The whole planning and future transport thoughts 60 years ago were very different to now, so trying to compare them to current ideas is pointless.
 

Envoy

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A Dinas Powys by-pass would be of great benefit to the people of this area as it would remove noise and pollution from a main road lined with residences.

The proposal for a new road across the Vale of Glamorgan from M4 J34 (Miskin) & then passing Pendoylan to the A48 at Sycamore Cross and hence, the improved A4266 to Barry, would improve access to Cardiff Airport. However, what it fails to do is improve road access from central Cardiff to the Airport. Therefore, we must ask whether that is really the best option? (The idea of a rail station on the main line at Miskin and then buses using this route to the Airport is bonkers as this would take longer than the present rail arrangement with a bus link from Rhoose station. Hopefully, Cardiff Airport will eventually have a direct rail link from the Vale of Glamorgan Coast Line).

Whether the residents of an area are “well heeled” or not, the aim must be try and reduce the amount of car traffic and shift people in the fastest most efficient way. For some journeys, the car is required. I note that since the schools have re-opened, the amount of traffic has increased dramatically. Goodness knows why kids can't go to school on their own and parents are providing them with a private chauffeur service?

Regarding the failure to get the Portishead line up & running: one can only hope that with the Welsh Government running things in Wales, that things can be speeded up? I also note that along the west side of the Solent, the former ‘oil line’ to Fawley could be turned into a commuter rail route yet no action appears to be taken on this.

I am concerned that with the rolling stock ordered for the ‘Metro’, that we have no end gangway - meaning that longer trains with a through corridor cannot be formed should demand increase in future.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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It is frustrating that all of the focus of the Metro is on the Valleys, when this route is also desperately needed, but because it's in the affluent Vale of Glamorgan, it's being overlooked.
I get your frustration but it's a bit unfair to claim the focus of the Metro is on the valleys. Inevitably, the current phase of the Metro project is focused on improving services on lines that already exist. The only new strech of line won't be in the valleys at all. It will be in Cardiff Bay

As for the Vale being ignored, it's a marginal seat in both the Assembly and HoC so there's a strong poltical reason to improve services there. It's more difficult to do that though on the parts of the network that are owned by Network Rail.
 

Cardiff123

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I get your frustration but it's a bit unfair to claim the focus of the Metro is on the valleys. Inevitably, the current phase of the Metro project is focused on improving services on lines that already exist. The only new strech of line won't be in the valleys at all. It will be in Cardiff Bay

As for the Vale being ignored, it's a marginal seat in both the Assembly and HoC so there's a strong poltical reason to improve services there. It's more difficult to do that though on the parts of the network that are owned by Network Rail.
The Vale is being ignored though, it's getting new Stadler Flirts and that's it. The only service enhancement is 2 tph between Barry and Bridgend in 2024.
It makes zero sense not to electrify the Vale of Glamorgan line. Network Rail should be fully devolved to the Welsh Govt in Wales, it makes no sense for the DfT and Westminster to control NR in Wales when London doesn't have a clue about what's best for rail infrastructure in Wales, and more importantly, doesn't care.
 

Cardiff123

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You are conveniently ignoring the utter mess they have made of everything devolved so far!
Well that point is debate-able, depending on your political leaning. I'm guessing you're not a Labour voter.

Except for making joined-up national decisions for rail lines that cross the arbitrary England/Wales border!
Apart from CASR, which was a much needed signalling renewal and upgrade combined, and electrification to Cardiff, please list all of the transformational infrastructure upgrades there have been to rail infrastructure in Wales since privatisation, under the direction of Westminster and the DfT.

Also please list the future transformational infrastructure upgrades that Network Rail plans for Wales in future, again under the direction of Westminster and the DfT. Bare in mind that the South Wales Metro and Valley lines upgrades are Welsh Government projects.
 

oglord

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Well that point is debate-able, depending on your political leaning. I'm guessing you're not a Labour voter.
Being a Labour voter means one cannot read league tables?
Apart from CASR, which was a much needed signalling renewal and upgrade combined, and electrification to Cardiff, please list all of the transformational infrastructure upgrades there have been to rail infrastructure in Wales since privatisation, under the direction of Westminster and the DfT.
You are the one proposing the change - what do you think the WAG would do, and more importantly how would they fund it? These are the people that spent £113 million debating a road, got told it was value for money and the only solution to traffic congestion by an independent enquiry and then did nothing. They bought an airport for much more than the asking price and have done nothing with it. They are hardly A* candidates in the field of transport projects are they?
 

Cardiff123

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Being a Labour voter means one cannot read league tables?

You are the one proposing the change - what do you think the WAG would do, and more importantly how would they fund it?
By being having the relevant funding for Network Rail in Wales transferred by Westminster and included in the annual block Grant, just as in Scotland.
Westminster is contributing just £125m to the £738m Valley lines upgrade.
The Ebbw Vale line re-opening was again a Welsh Govt funded project.

You still haven't listed the many infrastructure projects that Westminster and DfT have funded and delivered for the rail network in Wales, including future planned projects.
 

Dai Corner

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That they politicised. It was supposed to run to Newport, remember? They have messed up the redoubling by telling NR to down tools. What is happening now?
It's been promised for 2022-ish from memory. Diesel operated of course, although it should be an easy piece of electrification.

My irritation with the Welsh Government is that they seem to prefer blaming Westminster and the Tories instead of raising the money themselves through devolved taxation.

The Tories believe we want lower taxes and less spent on public services and infrastructure and as a result income taxpayers in Wales have an extra £1200 a year in their pockets.

Instead of passing on the cuts in full WG should raise, say, an extra £1bn a year, show us what that buys and ask us at the next election whether we want more of the same. Like Scotland.
 

Gwenllian2001

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Being a Labour voter means one cannot read league tables?

You are the one proposing the change - what do you think the WAG would do, and more importantly how would they fund it? These are the people that spent £113 million debating a road, got told it was value for money and the only solution to traffic congestion by an independent enquiry and then did nothing. They bought an airport for much more than the asking price and have done nothing with it. They are hardly A* candidates in the field of transport projects are they?
Building the M4 Relief Road will not make any difference to the volume of traffic. It will simply move the congestion elsewhere. I use the M4, in South Wales, frequently and for most of the time it is quite adequate. One of the biggest causes of congestion is the overwhelming number of vehicles that carry only the driver and have three, four or five empty seats. So, on average, there are four vehicles where, in reality, only one is strictly necessary. We simply do not have the room or the money to cater for peaks at the expense of everything else. Outside of the peaks the traffic flows freely enough.

One of the key points made by Beeching, and his followers, was that it was wasteful to cater for peaks
and lots of infrastructure was destroyed as a result of that philosophy.The legacy of those ideas has come back to bite us with potentially useful routes and facilities obstructed or rendered too expensive to re-instate.

The Penarth - Biglis Jc route was a case in point of buggering something up just for the sake of it. Would any sane transport authority close, and block off at both ends, a five mile section of perfectly good road, in excellent repair, because not enough people lived along it although it joined two heavily populated conurbations?
 

Tom Quinne

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Well that point is debate-able, depending on your political leaning. I'm guessing you're not a Labour voter.


Apart from CASR, which was a much needed signalling renewal and upgrade combined, and electrification to Cardiff, please list all of the transformational infrastructure upgrades there have been to rail infrastructure in Wales since privatisation, under the direction of Westminster and the DfT.

Also please list the future transformational infrastructure upgrades that Network Rail plans for Wales in future, again under the direction of Westminster and the DfT. Bare in mind that the South Wales Metro and Valley lines upgrades are Welsh Government projects.

CARS is/was done on the “cheap” and its showing its many limitations daily.
 

Envoy

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A new M4 south of Newport should have been given the go-ahead. The problem here arises from the fact that back in 1966 - when it was built, they chose this route in order to give fast access to the valleys in order to encourage employment as the coal industry was in decline. The mistake that was then made was to waste money converting it from 2 lanes to 3 lanes and all this ‘smart motorway’ nonsense. They should have decided years ago to make a new M4 (black route) to the south as no matter what you did to the present route, you still had the 2 lane each way tunnel at one of the busiest sections > local traffic + southern England to south Wales traffic + south Wales to Midland (M50) traffic. The decision by this Labour administration not to give the black route go-ahead is going to throttle the south Wales economy and is a big black mark against Cardiff Airport becoming a chosen option for airlines. The black route would also have had a new interchange in south Newport which would have helped revive this run down area. Instead, the Welsh Government prefer to dig up the countryside north of J33 (Cardiff West) for a new business park - which going by the one at J30 (Cardiff Gate), will just be office blocks and car showrooms surrounded by large CAR PARKS. The J33 Business Park will also jam up that junction even more as it really needs a flyover and nothing built on it.

The Metro will by and large have little impact on the east-west traffic flows around Newport as most of Metro improvements focus on the north-south flows from the valleys down to Cardiff and the coast. I am all for rail transportation but also recognise that road transport is vital to the economy.

Yesterday I was on the Newport section of the M4 and in the vicinity of the tunnel was a 50 mph speed limit. Now, I can understand having a 60 or even 50 limit coming down the hill when westbound due to tailbacks and everybody having to get into 2 lanes from 3. The trouble is that it stays at 50mph through the tunnel - thus helping to create the tailbacks. A river flowing through a narrow point increases speed v a wide section. The M4 at Newport does the opposite!

(M4 spending is related to the Metro as people who are against road spending assume that the money will be spent on rail transport).
 

Tomos y Tanc

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I don't particularly want to get into arguements about the M4 or the track record of the Welsh Governement. It is a simple matter of fact though that Wales & the Marches represents around 11% of the rail network in England and Wales and since 2011 has received around 1.5% of the money spent by the UK Government on rail enhancements.

Transferring ownership of the network to the Wesh Government along with a ring-fenced budget based either on route miles or population share would, at the very least, increase investment threefold. How ever inefficient the Welsh Governement was in spending that money it would be a damn sight better than the current position.

The problem of course is that the network includes the Marcher line so there would need to be a mechanism to ensure that the interests of Marcher residents were properly taken into account. The obvious solution would be to allow English local authorities to appoint members to the board of TfW.
 

Dai Corner

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I doubt even Tube-style services on the Relief lines between STJ and Cardiff with stations every mile or two and trains every five minutes would relieve congestion on the M4 in the medium to long term. As anti-roads campaigners say, the capacity released by modal shift will soon be taken up by people making new journeys.

I'm personally against the new M4 as it would be uncomfortably close to my house and I don't normally have to travel at peak times but I see the wider arguments.

The M4 was congested through Newport when I used it at Friday and Saturday lunchtime, by the way. It's not just commuter traffic.
 

richpthomas

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The line was deliberately made almost useless by splitting the service into two separate services with two sets of buffer stops in the platform at Penarth making it impossible for trains to run through towards Barry or Cardiff. A limited service, which didn't connect with anything, then ran between Cadoxton and Penarth. A stupid planned closure of a through route.
I had no idea about this! When was this done? Is there any more information online or anywhere about this?

I grew up in Sully, and the removal of the railway and subsequent building over almost all the alignment through the village has always been so frustrating. Peak traffic was always bad through Dinas Powys, but every time I go back to visit it seems to be getting steadily worse and worse. Where would this notional dual carriageway Dinas bypass go, I wonder?
 

S-Bahn

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My view in summary

1. The M4 relief road should have been built, and I would have gone further with a new M4 spur road following the Coast into Cardiff Bay joining the A4232, redirecting some of the Cardiff city centre traffic from the East off the A48 and Gabalfa.

2. Closing the Penarth to Barry line via Sully was a mistake in the 60's. It should have been left as single track and could have been upgraded as demand increased. There would have been no NIMBY-ism and having to compulsory purchase land, which now makes it too expensive in 2019.

3. "Well-healed" people in the Vale of Glam tend to be higher paid workers who commute into Cardiff to work and pay taxes. They also tend to have more than one car per household. More stations and increased frequency/capacity would encourage them to take the train to work and either walk the short distance to the station or park up at the park and ride. Instead they are trying to take their BMW's and Land Rovers into Cardiff everyday.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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I don't particularly want to get into arguements about the M4 or the track record of the Welsh Governement. It is a simple matter of fact though that Wales & the Marches represents around 11% of the rail network in England and Wales and since 2011 has received around 1.5% of the money spent by the UK Government on rail enhancements.

Transferring ownership of the network to the Wesh Government along with a ring-fenced budget based either on route miles or population share would, at the very least, increase investment threefold. How ever inefficient the Welsh Governement was in spending that money it would be a damn sight better than the current position.

The problem of course is that the network includes the Marcher line so there would need to be a mechanism to ensure that the interests of Marcher residents were properly taken into account. The obvious solution would be to allow English local authorities to appoint members to the board of TfW.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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Just a question. How does moderation on this site work?

I have posted a reasoned point here twice and find that "This message is awaiting moderator approval, and is invisible to normal visitors."

Fair enough. I'm a reasonably new member of the forum and I understand the moderators are unpaid but why are uncontencious posts blocked at random?

I will try and add the post as an edit.

"I don't particularly want to get into arguements about the M4 or the track record of the Welsh Government."

And after that I fail, being warned about 'spam like content'. What on earth is going on?

Kindly asked.
 
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Cardiff123

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"I don't particularly want to get into arguments about the M4 or the track record of the Welsh Government."
That's why I haven't take the bait and responded to arguments about the M4. I easily could and this thread could just turn into an M4 road vs rail debate thread. This isn't the place for that.
 

krus_aragon

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Just a question. How does moderation on this site work?

I have posted a reasoned point here twice and find that "This message is awaiting moderator approval, and is invisible to normal visitors."

Fair enough. I'm a reasonably new member of the forum and I understand the moderators are unpaid but why are uncontencious posts blocked at random?

I will try and add the post as an edit.

"I don't particularly want to get into arguements about the M4 or the track record of the Welsh Government."

And after that I fail, being warned about 'spam like content'. What on earth is going on?

Kindly asked.
I have no ability to answer the question (as I have no role in moderation), but would suggest that you ask the question directly of a moderator, with the "Contact Us" envelope button at the bottom of the page.

(As it happens, that's exactly what the forum rules thread has to say on the matter: "Please contact us for further information on moderation policies and penalties")
 

Envoy

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I see that the Welsh Government are now hoping to have new homes built on land they own near Cosmeston Country Park, Penarth. With the roads in grid-lock, perhaps this should now mean the Metro getting extended along the former railway line - though what to do with the few houses blocking the route?
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/cosmeston-country-park-vale-housing-16948763

The new housing would be built near Cosmeston Lakes Country Park in the Vale of Glamorgan on Welsh Government-owned land stretching from Lavernock Road to the coast.
 

Dai Corner

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I see that the Welsh Government are now hoping to have new homes built on land they own near Cosmeston Country Park, Penarth. With the roads in grid-lock, perhaps this should now mean the Metro getting extended along the former railway line - though what to do with the few houses blocking the route?
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/cosmeston-country-park-vale-housing-16948763
As suggested above, tram-trains with street running as necessary to get through the obstacle.

The reason given for the Valleys getting tram-trains is supposedly to facilitate future extensions with the Bay tramway as proof of concept. What's good for the Valleys is good for the Vale.
 

Envoy

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As said earlier, it the Stadler ‘Flirts’ that are planned for lines south of Cardiff & up the Rhymney Valley. Goodness knows whether Network Rail would let the tram-trains run on their lines in future?


It just goes to show how short sighted planners can be to have allowed building on the former Penarth - Sully - Barry railway. The same thing has happened in Fairwater in west Cardiff - thus providing an obstacle to building a new Metro line out to Cregiau from the City Line:>
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4974651,-3.2359166,365m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e1
 
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MarkyT

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Goodness knows whether Network Rail would let the tram-trains run on their lines in future?
Citylinks are supposed to be running on the City Line at least which will have to use NR infrastructure through Cardiff Central, albeit on battery power.
 

Dai Corner

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Citylinks are supposed to be running on the City Line at least which will have to use NR infrastructure through Cardiff Central, albeit on battery power.
Arguably, politics apart, the Citylinks would be more suited to Penarth / Barry Island and the Flirts to the longer Treherbert/Aberdare/Merthyr lines.

But it's all been decided now anyway.
 

Robertj21a

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Arguably, politics apart, the Citylinks would be more suited to Penarth / Barry Island and the Flirts to the longer Treherbert/Aberdare/Merthyr lines.

But it's all been decided now anyway.
Apologies if this has been covered in the previous 90 pages.........
What is the expected time difference of tram vs train for something like Cardiff Central to Treherbert or Merthyr ?
Thanks.
 

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