WELSH Conservative politicians in Bridgend have welcomed news that plans for a new railway station in Brackla have moved a step closer.
Bridgend MP Jamie Wallis and Regional MS Suzy Davies are pleased that Bridgend may be getting some much-needed transport upgrades under the Cardiff City Deal metro plan.
Jamie Wallis said: “Brackla has more than 10,000 residents many of whom work right across South Wales so links via rail to places like Swansea and Cardiff are key.
“Railways are a major priority for the UK Government and I am pleased that Welsh Government now seems to be getting on board. The Cardiff City Deal was a vision for our part of South Wales initiated by the UK Conservative Government which is giving £500m to it.
“Welsh Government and local authorities are also fully committed and making large contributions. Getting major infrastructure upgrades needs close co-operation from all parties so the fact that everyone is working together to promote this new station is excellent.”
Mrs Davies said: “I have been campaigning for this ever since being elected in 2011 but we were told then by Network Rail that there would be problems in adding an extra stop along the South Wales main line as it would affect the faster trains coming along behind. If they have managed to find a way around that then I am delighted.
“BCBC provided a park and ride at Brackla several years ago using money from developers so we have had a station car park without the station. However, I am still a bit wary because the scheme is said to be in the early stages of planning and may still fall at the next hurdle.
“But it is good news that it has been included in the Metro Enhancement framework. I intend to keep up the pressure on Welsh Government and on the Cardiff Capital Region Transport Authority to give it priority.”
Bridgend Council’s Conservative group leader Coun Tom Giffard, who represents Brackla, however sounded a note of caution.
He said: “While I welcome the new station in principle, I am aware of major traffic issues along Coychurch Road and especially with the junction at Heol Simonston. An investigation carried out for the council revealed that putting a roundabout there as a means of alleviating the problem would require expensive engineering work at the railway bridge.
“Unless they tackle the junction as part of the plan for the new station there will be increased numbers of cars travelling to and from the station and adding to the congestion that already exists.”
During the war there was a station at Brackla which was called Tremains Halt which was used by trains carrying thousands of workers from all over South Wales to the arsenal or Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) which was on the site now occupied by Bridgend Industrial Estate.. The station opened in 1939 and closed in 1961.