As I mentioned last week MAGOR, working with MCC and with the support of our MP, Jessica Morden, successfully submitted applications into the “Reversing Beeching / Ideas Fund” and the revised “New Station Fund” (NSF). The second of these is probably the most useful, as receiving a grant from that one would enable the completion of the technical reports and business case for the station. This is work that has been stalled for some while, awaiting funding (the GRIP Stage 3 study that we have mentioned numerous times).
The applications for funding were reported in the media, including the South Wales Argus, and also stimulated discussion on social media. There is tremendous local support for the station, (a recent Facebook post on the subject, by Ted Hand, received 105 ‘like’ or ‘love’ reactions out of 107). There were a small number of concerns that a ‘Walkway’ station would be abused by those who wished to drive to it and park around the streets causing ‘gridlock’. Others said the money would be better spent on Severn Tunnel Junction (STJ) with additional road and cycle-ways to it (see November ’19 post). MAGOR and MCC have, from the outset, always recognised the risk of inconsiderate parking and have agreed that appropriate measures (incentives and disincentives) would need to be put in place to mitigate this risk. It has always been the intention and part of the business case that ‘Magor & Undy Walkway’ would complement STJ, by relieving the load on it, and not competing with it.
We do have reasons to be hopeful this time. The Welsh Government Minister for the Economy, Ken Skates, has not only indicated that he was supportive of Jessica Morden MP bidding in relation to Magor and Undy Walkway, but has also informed Grant Shapps (UK Government, Secretary of State for Transport) that ‘Magor’ (along with Greenfield) is a ‘further priority’ to the four stations that Welsh Government is promoting. So, fingers crossed! MAGOR will continue to work with MCC, Jessica Morden MP and John Griffiths SM over the coming months to keep abreast of developments and adapt plans accordingly.
The MAGOR group held an informal ‘ZOOM’ meeting last week to discuss and review the recent activity. It is hoped that the usual face to face meetings will be able to start again soon, and of course, all are welcome to attend.