ASLEF Consultation Response - Transport for Wales - New Stations and Services

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ASLEF's response to TfW's consultation on 5 new railway stations
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TfW were consulting on plans for new stations between Cardiff Central and Severn Tunnel Junction between 16/10/23 - 14/01/2024. Below is ASLEF's response

 

ASLEF Response – Transport for Wales – New Stations and Services Consultation           

  1. The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) is the UK’s largest train driver’s union representing just under 22,000 members in train operating companies, freight companies as well as London Underground and light rail systems. We have over 1,200 members living in Wales working for both passenger and freight operators and just under 1,000 members employed by TfW some of whom live in England.   

                
  2. We have long campaigned for investment into rail across Great Britain to further encourage a modal shift and launched our Invest in Rail[1] campaign in 2022. We have welcomed the work of the Welsh Government to encourage a modal shift from private motor vehicles to public transport and active travel in the past and are pleased to see further progress being made with this potential investment in the South Wales Mainline programme to further encourage a modal shift from private motor vehicles to rail along the route of the M4 Motorway.           

     
  3. We are strongly supportive of the proposals due to the environmental and economic benefits these can have for Wales and the Southwest of England and will provide further comment on the proposals for each station.              
     

Cardiff East Station           

  1. We are supportive of the plans for Cardiff East Station as they offer the opportunity for interchanges with buses and the walking / cycling route and allow connections to local housing and commercial developments by creating a gateway to Newport Road. We do note that due to the geography of the area those with access needs will be reliant on working lifts to reach the platforms which whilst it isn’t ideal, we understand the limitations and necessity for the proposed solution to ensure the station is accessible.  
                
     

Newport West Station       

  1. We are supportive of the plans for Newport East as they provide ample parking with blue badge and EV spaces which along with the potential for future development of a station building and retail and commercial spaces will ensure that the station is designed with the future in mind, further to this, the bus stop at the main entrance also ensures that the station offers a sensible interchange option for passengers looking to continue their journey via public transport. However as with Cardiff East those with accessible needs will be reliant on working lifts to access the platforms.          
                
     
  2. We assume that the walking and cycling routes will be designed in a way so that they are future proofed due to the station’s close proximity to residential areas and will be able accommodate an increase in those using active travel to reach the station.            

     
  3. There is great potential for Newport West Station to grow due to its proximity to residential areas and the potential it has to shift many residents from private motor vehicle use to rail and we welcome the fact that the proposals have factored in this potential.        

     

Somerton Station   

  1. We welcome the proposals for Somerton station, we again see the potential for modal shift and a growth in rail use due to the proximity of the station to residential areas and existing employment. We do note however that the proposals do not propose a walking and cycling route, only a walking route to the station.            

     
  2. Whilst the current proposals do look to encourage active travel we feel a dedicated cycling route may further encourage this, however we are aware that there are current restrictions on the ability to provide this via Somerton Road due to its current design and the surrounding area south of the station is mainly residential so whilst not ideal, the roads which provide step free access should at least be quieter and have road vehicles traveling at slower speeds than on main roads.          

     
  3. As with the other stations those with access needs will be reliant on the lift system working to enable them to reach the platforms which whilst isn’t ideal, we understand the necessity due to the current geography of the proposed station. 

     

Llanwern Station    

  1. We are supportive of the proposals for Llanwern Station and see great potential for the station to serve the existing residential area and the growth of Llanwern village, promoting a modal shift from private motor vehicle to rail for journeys that run along the route of the M4 Motorway.              

     
  2. As with the other stations those with access needs will be reliant on the lift system working to enable them to reach the platforms which whilst isn’t ideal, we understand the necessity due to the current geography and the existence of poor ground conditions and the reens between the lines which we also expect to be managed effectively to ensure that the station and line is safe and resilient of potential weather events due to climate change.            

     

Magor & Undy Station

  1. We welcome the proposals for Magor and Undy station and can see the potential for this station to serve the current communities. It also presents the potential to offer an alternative to the M4 Motorway for the strategic mixed use development site, particularly if future developments are presented with the railway station in mind.             

     
  2. We also welcome the proposals for access ramps providing access to platforms alongside the bridge and lift system which will be required for those wishing to cross to the opposite platform.             

     
  3. Whilst we note that the existing bridge and subway from West End will not form part of the station access, we hope that TfW, Network Rail and the Welsh Government can work with the appropriate authority to ensure that both the bridge and subway have the appropriate level of lighting and CCTV to provide adequate security and safety to avoid these becoming problem spots which could reduce the attractiveness of rail for the local community. 
     

Mick Whelan 
ASLEF
General Secretary
77 St John Street
London
EC1M 4NN


 

[1] https://aslef.org.uk/investinrail