Wednesday 24 Feb 2016
Port Talbot Parkway station footbridge opens
A striking new footbridge, part of the £11m regeneration of Port Talbot Parkway station, has now opened.
David Rees AM for Aberavon visited the station shortly after the bridge opened to see first-hand how the enclosed bridge will provide passengers more room and a better travelling experience.
The 400-tonne bridge has been installed as part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers.
The footbridge helps to join communities in the town together by providing better step-free access to the public across Port Talbot and houses a new ticket office, waiting area, customer facilities and CCTV equipment, as well as steps and lift access to all platforms.
Gareth Woodruff, senior commercial scheme sponsor for Network Rail Wales said: “We would like to thank passengers and the local community for their patience during the ongoing works.
“The new footbridge provides an accessible route for everyone from the station entrance right through to the platforms, providing better facilities and a better experience for the increasing number of passengers using the railway.’’
Aberavon Assembly Member David Rees said: “I am delighted that we now have a modern, accessible railway station that offers improved facilities to the people of Port Talbot. The building reflects the industrial strength of the town through its use of steel from TATA and provides a warm welcome to all travellers. It’s a fantastic gateway to Port Talbot and the Afan Valley.”
The station amenities that have already been improved include new toilets with baby changing facilities and disabled access and an updated waiting room. A new information hub provides easy access to a dedicated customer information office where staff can offer assistance.
Economy, Science and Transport Minister, Edwina Hart said: “I welcome the completion of this stage of the improvement works at Port Talbot Parkway Station, which has received some £3m of Welsh Government funding.
“The railway is vital for people to access jobs and services. We want stations in Wales to be accessible to all and pleasant places to be. This project is another example of how we are investing to make this happen and I look forward to seeing the project being fully completed.”
There will also be a 111-space car park with a park and ride service for commuters at the station as well as better facilities for cyclists, bus passengers and taxis.
Bethan Jelfs, Head of Stations at Arriva Trains Wales said: “It is great news for our customers that the footbridge is now open – it’s a real improvement to the station, making it more accessible and generally a much nicer environment. We would like to thank all our customers for their patience during the works.”
The transformation of the station continues and the project, being carried out as part of the Wales Station Improvement Scheme, is expected to be completed over the coming months.
The project is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Welsh Government, Department for Transport, Network Rail, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Arriva Trains Wales and Tata Steel.
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail’s £40bn spending plan for Britain’s railways for the five year period up to 31 March 2019. The plan is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to tremendous growth the railways have seen – a doubling of passengers in the past twenty years. The plan will deliver a bigger, better railway with more trains, longer trains, faster trains with more infrastructure, more reliable infrastructure and better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.