The Ebbw Vale line, at least to Cardiff, reopened in 2008 and carried a years worth of anticipated passengers in the first few months. The new rail service failed to connect to Newport from day one - despite the implied promises and suggestions made before and since the railway line was reopened.
Now, with the anticipated change of franchise holders, the Welsh government and all our elected representatives to demand a commitment to run the long promised services between Ebbw Vale and Newport.
|Blink and you might miss it!|
They are denied the opportunity of catching connecting trains to Bristol, London, Cheltenham and beyond as well travelling slightly more rapidly to Cardiff in the morning and evening. Commuters have no choice but to drive to work and help to feed the congestion of an already at times overcrowded M4.
The missing rail link between Ebbw Vale and Newport to all intents and purposes is already open – trains already runs admittedly by stealth on occasions from Ebbw Vale into Newport and vice versa. The rail line and the signalling works fine – what we need is a regularly timetabled rail service.
That is a problem that requires a political solution, rather than an economic or infrastructure problem. We need a very public concrete all-party commitment to ensure that a regular timetabled service to and from Ebbw Vale to Newport is included as part of the new all Wales rail franchise timetable commitments.