Many of our existing railway stations suffer from some pretty significant gaps in services, so are underused. The future trend is merely for Government at all levels to simply be there and to provide nothing or at least next to nothing for this costs the least. The new bottom line, being when you have ineffective and inert Government, is that if we want a civic society or want to reopen an old railway station then we have to make Government act on our behalf, whether it wants to or not.
Small scale local transport projects and well organised local campaigns may provide the best opportunity to make a real difference when it comes to reopening or improving the services of our railway stations. There are a number of good examples to follow; including the Carno Station Action Group, the Severn Tunnel Action Group who have campaigned to restore rail services and improvements in the passenger infrastructure, Better Trains 4 Chepstow who are campaigning amongst other things for more stopping services at Chepstow, and the campaign for a railway station at Magor.
|Driver Training on Gaer Spur in 2009 (Photo: Ian Brewer)|
The final stage of the rail-link from Ebbw Vale to Newport needs to be completed and railway stations at Caerleon and Magor would help to reduce road congestion. Such developments would provide a regular rail service to local residents and reduce the ever increasing traffic burden from already overcrowded roads. The re-opening of Pontrilas Railway station (in south Herefordshire) for passenger traffic (and timber shipments) would also help, as would a feasibility study into developing regional rail freight services, removing heavy Lorries from local roads.
In the south east, we need Abergavenny and Chepstow railway stations to be real gateway stations, with fully integrated local bus services and more safe secure parking. We need better facilities at Severn Tunnel Junction and Caldicot railway stations and the provision of adequate safe secure parking facilities. We need feasibility studies into the development of a Parkway Station at Little Mill and the possibilities of re-opening the old line from Little Mill to Usk and the development of a new railway station at Usk.