A new Passenger Transport Interchange and station at Bow Street near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion is the only new station in Wales to receive funding.
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the outcome of applications made to its New Stations Fund 2 (NSF2) – funding which has been made available towards the capital expenditure cost of schemes to open new or re-open previously closed railway stations promoted by third parties in England and Wales. £16 million is to be shared between five new railway stations including Bow Street, Ceredigion which is to receive £3.945 million and is the only new station to be funded in Wales through the second tranche of the NSF2 Fund.
The scheme to develop a Passenger Transport Interchange at Bow Street, 3.5 miles to the north of Aberystwyth has been developed and promoted jointly by Ceredigion County Council and the Welsh Government.
The proposed scheme is a local and regional transport priority in the Mid Wales Joint Local Transport Plan 2015-2020 and will provide a public transport interchange with a new railway station, car and cycle parking facilities to enable passengers to access both bus and rail services and to car share from this location. The scheme also seeks to address local road safety concerns by providing a A487/ A4159 junction improvement with active travel facilities. The scheme will support and deliver potential economic growth opportunities and improved access to services and facilities located in and around Aberystwyth and North Ceredigion.
The DfT has announced that the NSF2 Fund is providing £3.945 million towards a total project cost of £6.76 million with match-funding and savings achieved through an ongoing value engineering exercise to bridge any potential funding gap.
Leader of Ceredigion County Council and chairperson for Growing Mid Wales, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said: “It was a pleasure to welcome this important strategic announcement at our meeting on Friday. The scheme will support and deliver potential economic growth opportunities and improved access to services and facilities located in and around Aberystwyth and North Ceredigion.”
Ceredigion County Council has worked with the Welsh Government, Mid Wales Rail Implementation Group, Cambrian Railways Partnership, Arriva Trains Wales, Network Rail and Capita to prepare the business case, scheme designs and an application for funding from the Department for Transport/Network Rail New Stations Fund 2. The funding application was submitted by the Welsh Government on behalf of the project development team at the end of November 2016.
Detailed plans were unveiled at a public exhibition in Bow Street in July 2016 and subsequently displayed at the Council office in Aberystwyth and on the Council’s website. Responses showed that there is considerable support for the scheme amongst the local community and discussions have been taking place with local land-owners and business that may be affected by the proposed scheme.
Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Carbon Management for Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Alun Williams said: “We’re delighted to receive this news after all the work the Council has put into making the case. It’s quite unusual for new stations to be built so the case had to be extremely solid. The new station will be much more than another stop on the rail line. It is intended to be a park and ride and general transport hub that will bring long-term economic, environmental and connectivity benefits to the whole area, including easing traffic congestion in Aberystwyth. I want to thank everyone who has been involved in developing the case, including local people who have been so supportive.”
The scheme will now be progressed by Ceredigion County Council and the Welsh Government with the objective of completing the new station by 2020.