• UK and Welsh governments today announce a new study to improve transport connectivity between South East Wales and West of England
  • Study, backed by £2.7 million of UK Government funding, will look at options for new railway stations and rail services on the South Wales Main Line
  • This project will focus on relieving congestion on the M4, a vital connector between South Wales and the rest of the UK

The UK and Welsh governments have today (2nd Feb) announced they are working together on a £2.7 million study, funded by the UK Government, to develop options for new stations and services on the South Wales Main Line.

The study follows Lord Hendy’s recommendations from his review of transport connectivity across the UK, which put forward the need to relieve congestion on the M4.

A series of options will be considered as part of this study, among which is the development of five brand new stations between Cardiff and Severn Tunnel.

Transport Minister, Richard Holden said:

“Delivering better transport links is a vital part of how we transform opportunities for people from across the United Kingdom.

“That’s why I am so delighted that, working with the Welsh Government, we are getting the ball rolling on in-depth work to boost connectivity and drive growth.”

Following the publication of Lord Peter Hendy’s Union Connectivity Review in 2021, the UK Government committed to forging and strengthening transport links that will create a more cohesive and connected United Kingdom.

Research carried out for the report specifically highlighted how important travel across the border between Wales and England is, with a large number of people travelling daily for work, services and leisure.

Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said:

“Good transport connections between South Wales and Western England are essential for the economy in Wales, enabling businesses to grow and flourish and making life easier for people to travel for work and leisure.

“This funding from the UK Government is vital in exploring how best to relieve congestion across South Wales. I’m pleased to work with the Welsh Government on plans that could have a huge impact on the many thousands of people who use the transport network in South Wales every day.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change:

“This is a key step to tackle congestion around Newport and was one of the main recommendations of the Burns Commission, which was endorsed by Lord Peter Hendy’s Union Connectivity Review. The business case is compelling and we are keen to make progress so that we can get more people onto South Wales Mainline trains, complementing Welsh Government’s investments in improving access to rail.”

Lord Peter Hendy also proposed reviewing the route connecting North Wales to the North West of England, better connectivity with HS2 and a package of railway improvements to increase connectivity and reduce journey times between Cardiff, Birmingham and beyond.