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Railwatch 073 - October 1997

South Wales

By Julian Langston

Rails to the Vale This is the title of a new book to be published by RDS South Wales this autumn. The theme is: How it was; how it could be. It will look at some reminiscences about the Vale of Glamorgan Line before it closed. Then there will be an analysis of why the line should be reopened and ideas from RDS South Wales as to how the cost could be kept to a minimum, but at the same time provide an attractive service. The book will cost £1.95, but will be available if ordered before 15 October 1997 at a special pre-publication price of £1.70 post free. To take advantage of this offer, send a cheque for £1.70 payable to RDS South Wales, 84 North Street, Abergavenny, NP7 7ED.

South Wales Metro The idea of merging existing fragmentary services into a coherent network was launched earlier this summer by DSW Rail Ltd, a rail development consultancy. The idea includes running regular services along all parts of the network, which centres on a spine route running from Carmarthen to Bristol. Existing lines to Maesteg, Pontypridd, Pontypool and Caldicott would be served. New stations at Celtic Lakes (serving the Lucky Goldstar development), Caerleon and Magor are possible. The scheme also includes reopening the Vale of Glamorgan line (serving Cardiff International Airport) and the Western Valley Line to Ebbw Vale. RDS South Wales warmly welcomes this initiative, which itself includes many features that RDS has been campaigning for.

A package from the Welsh Office Following the change of government, RDS South Wales has written to the Welsh Office asking for a new, pro-public transport policy. The reply is awaited with interest. One positive initiative from the Welsh Office is their adoption of the package approach, thus bringing it into line with the Department of Transport. The package approach means that bids for major transport funding are now expected to include a range or package of measures to maximise the benefits of the scheme. Thus, bids for new roads and bypasses are unlikely to be successful unless accompanied by bus prioritisation schemes, cycling or walking provision as well. Rail schemes could also benefit.

Wanted: change of attitude First results are in from the postcard campaign run by RDS South Wales. The cards are sent to tourist attractions which don't advertise how to reach them by public transport to encourage them to do better. Many haven't bothered to reply. Of those that have, a few have been positive. More, though seem antagonistic to the idea that people will come by any means other than car. Clearly there is a lot of work ahead of us to change these attitudes. The campaign continues.

Show brings trains Following RDS complaints last year that there were no additional trains on the Heart of Wales Line while the Royal Welsh Show was on at Builth Wells, the service was strengthened this year. Trains ran with up to four coaches instead of the usual one; even so, on at least one occasion, there were 100 people standing.

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.

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