|Driver training on the Gaer spur (Photo: Ian Brewer)|
And just like that it was gone as if it had never been, blink and you might have missed it... Now that the extensive maintenance in and around Cardiff has finished normal service has been resumed, with trains on the Ebbw Vale line running directly to and from Cardiff. Between May 1st and May 18th services ran into Newport with regular services ferrying passengers into our capital city. For 18 days is was entirely practical for potential commuters in the Ebbw valley to make connections to Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham and beyond rather than put up with the nonsensical idea of riding the train westward into Cardiff and then picking up a connections eastward. No more, normal service has been restored, which raise the question as to who exactly is making the decision to run services direct into Cardiff, ignoring the potential economic benefits to commuters and to the region – Network Rail? Arriva Trains Wales? The Department for Transport or the Labour in Wales Welsh Government? My money is on the latter, despite loud and persistent calls for over a number of years for the completion of the long promised permanent rail link from the Ebbw Vale into Newport, nothing has been done. This whiff of inertia and duplicity has Labour in Wales written all over it. The South Wales Argus valiantly took up the gauntlet and actively backed the campaign to restore the rail link from Ebbw Vale to Newport, which would complement the rail link from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff. Our local Labour in Wales elected representatives have gone been awfully quiet foe some time, whether they represent us or their party, may be debatable, but their silence is I feel particularly telling.