Neath Station Update – 8th May 2018

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates has again confirmed that Neath Station is not under threat of being taken off the South Wales rail mainline. This is the third time in recent weeks that the Welsh Government has confirmed this position.

I’ve also met with representatives of Network Rail who share the view that Neath Station should remain on the mainline and indeed be enhanced.

I believe that we do need to look at ways to develop a Swansea Bay Region Metro that better integrates Neath and surrounding valley communities, and seeks to shorten travel times on the line to London. But as is clear here, that cannot and will not be at the expense of Neath station.

I provided the following comment to the Evening Post underlining this: 

“I want to be clear that the idea that Neath may be taken off the mainline isn’t just a terrible idea – it’s also just not credible. I have met with the Welsh Government Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates and with Network Rail, who have repeated their assurances that Neath remains an important station on the south Wales rail mainline, as one of the busiest stations in Wales.

I can understand the concern when ideas like this are floated by others. However, the reality is that cost of laying a new track to straighten the line would be more than the cost of electrifying it. The UK Government won’t commit that sort of money on good ideas like electrification, let alone bad ideas like taking Neath off. And the Welsh Government has repeatedly stated its goal that services from Neath station shouldn’t just be protected but enhanced.

We do need to look at ways to develop a Swansea Bay Region Metro System that better integrates Neath and surrounding valley communities, and seeks to shorten travel times on the line to London. But that cannot and will not be at the expense of Neath station.”