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Welsh transport minister reveals progress in ambitious Metro project

Words: Roger Milne

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport in the Welsh Assembly, confirmed this week that the Welsh government is pressing ahead with its plans for a South East Wales Metro.

Between £500 and 600 million is expected to be spent on the project by the end of the decade, with work starting in earnest on the second phase of the scheme perhaps as early as 2017.

It is likely to involve a mix of light rail, trams, improved trains and faster buses by 2020 in Cardiff and the South Wales Valleys.

Hart told Assembly members: “Significant progress has been made on key issues relating to the new rail franchise for Wales and the Metro. The Metro is more than just a transport project; it will be a catalyst for transforming the economic and social prospects of South East Wales and the country as a whole.

“We have reached the point where we can test out some of our ambitious proposals, and are continuing to deliver phase one improvements, such as brand new stations at Ebbw Vale and Pye Corner, and improvements at existing stations such as Pontypridd.”

The minister also announced members of the panel who will advise the Welsh Government through the detailed rail franchise negotiations and development of the Metro.

Image courtesy of the National Assembly For Wales / Cynulliad Cymru