WELSH ECONOMY and Transport Minister Ken Skates has reopened the feasibility study into increasing the frequency of trains on the Ebbw Vale line. The study, due to be completed by early summer, will look at the process needed to bring four trains per hour to the line by 2024 as part of the South Wales Metro.

Services began on the reopened Ebbw Vale line in February 2008, with the line used by an hourly service to Cardiff. Ambitions to provide a second hourly service to Newport formed a second phase, along with extension to Ebbw Vale Town (which opened in 2015) and reopening of the branch from Aberbeeg Junction to Abertillery. However, the Welsh Government opted to pause and review the frequency enhancement work as costs escalated. The study will now see Network Rail re-examine the case following work with the Welsh Government to reduce costs.

Meanwhile, the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal has identified a proposed £50 million programme of local transport schemes to support the implementation of the South Wales Metro. Included in this is the creation of a rail link from Aberbeeg to Abertillery, with a Park and Ride site for 100 vehicles.

Service intensification study: this is Ebbw Vale Town.
Philip Sherratt