New Cardiff Parkway station planned for business park
A new railway station on the eastern side of Cardiff could be built as part of plans to open a business park employing 15,000 people.
The new station, provisionally named Cardiff Parkway, would be built south of St Mellons Business Park.
The business park would focus on science and technology and would have a 1,600-space car park and a bus station.
Initially trains would run to Cardiff and Newport, but could serve London and Cardiff Airport in the future.
Entrepreneur Nigel Roberts, of NRP and Paramount Office Interiors, is one of the partners behind the proposal, along with his son Andrew.
They set up Cardiff Parkway Developments Ltd as a joint venture with the asset management and specialist banking firm Investec.
They have applied to the Department of Transport and Network Rail's New Stations Fund 2, which considers bids from around the UK to open new stations.
The station would fit as part of the Metro plan for south Wales.
A decision on their application for 75% of the projected £25m cost is expected next spring.
Mr Roberts said: "It's been eight years in the planning. It's been in the [Cardiff] local development plan since January when it was announced. You can't just build a train station without a lot of planning.
"You have got to have commitments from Network Rail, and from the train operating companies that their services are going to stop there."
He added: "We have signed options with seven different families of farmers [who own the land] so we have secured options on the land for the next 12 years."
Mr Roberts believes their ambitious plan to open a station on the site by 2020 is achievable, saying: "We put the bid in on Friday. We're now continuing with the Welsh Government to put the detail in on the station design."
He said once the decision was made, probably in March, they should be ready to progress with the scheme.
Travel times into Cardiff would be just seven minutes from the new station, which could become a park and ride option for people travelling from the north and east, or those going to Cardiff Airport.
There are four train lines running through the St Mellons site, two mainline tracks to the north, and two relief lines to the south.
Mr Roberts said the plan would be to skew the two relief lines further south to allow a platform to be built in the middle of the four lines, and two other platforms on the north and south extremes.
At present there are four non-London services an hour coming through the site towards Cardiff, two from Ebbw Vale, one from Cheltenham, and one from Portsmouth, which could all stop at the new station.
However Mr Roberts said while they were constructing the new station they would be holding "ongoing talks" about the station being used on the mainline, opening up the possibility of a park and ride service to Heathrow and London.
He also said his plan for car parking was nearer 4,000 than 1,600 as those sorts of numbers were what was needed to make a significant impact on road travel.
For the park itself, which would sit across a 176-acre (71 hectare) site, he commented: "We're looking at a science and technology park. If you look at the current tenants we've got [on the St Mellons Business Park] a lot are in that area.
"It's very much clean technology, high tech.
"We're not looking to compete with Central Square or the Capital Quarter.
"We've got a dual carriageway straight into the site. There's a train line already in situ - that's why it's deliverable immediately."