Cambrian rail line improvement report handed to minister

Arriva Trains Wales carriage An hourly service between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth could be set up

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A group set up to consider proposals to improve the Cambrian main and coastal lines in mid Wales has submitted its report to Transport Minister Edwina Hart.

The minister asked the group to report on the costs and feasibility of implementing changes.

An hourly service between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth could be set up as a result of the findings.

The Welsh government said the minister would now consider the recommendations.

The Cambrian Rail Implementation Group was formed last November.

It followed a report by The Shrewsbury Aberystwyth Railway Liaison Committee which said hourly services could boost employment and tourism.

Its report included 6,570 responses by residents, students and businesses in mid Wales, and also called for more trains on the coast line in the summer months.

Committee members and other bodies, including Network Rail, Arriva Trains and Aberystwyth University, were then invited to join the new group by Ms Hart.

Robert Robinson, joint secretary of the group looking at improvements on the network, said: "We have submitted the business case which includes a timetable, costings and an implementation plan for the enhanced service to the minister."

He added that the group was due to discuss the report with the minister in March.

Hopes for an hourly service along the Cambrian line received a boost last week when Powys planners gave the go-ahead to close five crossings on the network between Carno and Talerddig.

The Network Rail project will also include replacing the crossings with two road bridges over the Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury railway line.

The planning report said it was part of a plan to introduce an hourly service along the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth line, and would also allow for the removal of speed restrictions.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "The minister has received the report and will be considering their recommendations before providing a further update to assembly members."

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