South East Wales

Cardiff Parkway's £30m station gets support

Artist's impression Image copyright Cardiff Parkway Developments Ltd

A £30m new privately-built railway station and car park to the east of Cardiff has been given the backing of the UK government.

Cardiff Parkway will serve a new business park at St Mellons and up to 32,000 residents.

The formal planning process involving Cardiff council will start on Friday.

Developers say it will cut travel time to the city centre from up to an hour when driving on roads at peak times to as little as six minutes by rail.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he would "work with the promoters of the scheme as they develop their plans to the next stage".

Last week in the Commons he indicated he was supportive of the project.

Cardiff Parkway would offer:

  • Fast links to Cardiff Central station, with trains able to arrive within six or seven minutes
  • The potential for a direct link to Cardiff Airport in about 25 minutes
  • Parking for 4,000 cars, costing £5 a day
  • The potential for use by visitors on sporting match days and other events in the city centre to reduce congestion
  • Trains will be able to stop from Birmingham and Portsmouth Harbour and be 50 minutes from Bristol, while there could be a train every half hour from Ebbw Vale
  • There is hope of fast trains to London also stopping there in the future
  • It has already been planned into the South Wales Metro map, with a stop also planned for Newport Road on the way into the city centre
  • It would also include a bus terminus, taxi rank and cycle parking

The development came as plans for electrifying the main line from Cardiff to Swansea were scrapped.

The St Mellons project - which involves a 188-acre business park - has been in the pipeline for 10 years and has involved buying land from seven farmers.

The station would cost £17m, and the car park £12m, with the opening expected in February 2020.

Cardiff Parkway Developments director Andrew Roberts said: "We're hoping to have spades in the ground in a year's time.

"There is a lot of planning and approvals that have to be got through in the meantime but it's all looking very positive."

Analysis by Sarah Dickins, BBC Wales economics correspondent

This is the first privately-owned railway station in Wales for more than a century and it now has the backing of both the Welsh and UK governments as well as Cardiff Council.

The developers have been working on it for a decade and it would not have got this far had they not been convinced that it made business sense and would be an attractive investment.

Image copyright Cardiff Parkway Business Park

It could have significant impact on south east Wales both in terms of tackling the growing problem of congestion around Cardiff and could be a magnet for further private sector investment and jobs.

Cardiff Council has acknowledged that while public transport has in the past been the remit of local authorities, a decade of austerity has put pressure on the public purse.

This is a significant change in the way infrastructure is delivered. There are already 6,000 people working on St Mellons business park. If Cardiff Parkway also managed to attract extra private sector investment and jobs on land around the station it could have an important impact on the wider Welsh economy.

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