Following our meeting with David Rowlands (Assembly Member) in October, earlier this month David kindly questioned the Cabinet Minister for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, on our behalf. He asked the minister if he was aware of the good progress MAGOR was making with the plan to re-open a station and if he was aware that we are now planning to commence the GRIP 3 stage (“Option Selection”). As a third question, he asked the minister if Welsh Government could contribute financially to this stage (as it did with GRIP stages 1 and 2). The feed-back from David was very positive, he indicated that the minister was aware of and supportive of our project. The minister asked for further details of GRIP 3 (which we supplied) and we now await the minister’s further consideration.
In a similar vein, the leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Peter Fox, recently wrote to the minister highlighting the project. As a result of Peter’s letter and David Roland’s intervention, Ted and I were invited to meet with the minister’s rail officials. The meeting with Nathan Barnhouse (Rail Programme Director), Alison Thomas (Regional Transport Manager) and Mathew Nobbs, took place on the 11th November. Ted and I gave a presentation which was well received. We were able to answer their questions and received a number of points of advice and guidance which we are now following up on.
I mentioned last month that we were intending to submit an application to the UK government’s ‘New Station Fund’. I am pleased to report that, working with Christian Schmidt (MCC’s Transport Planning & Policy Officer), MAGOR and MCC yesterday jointly submitted our application to the Network Rail sponsor. Ideally, applications should be at GRIP 3 stage but they now accept them at the GRIP 2 stage which means some of the information ideally needed will become available later. However, we believe our application form, with its preliminary and provisional information, makes a very strong case. You can read our application by clicking here. It’s well worth a read.
And finally, I attended, on behalf of the MAGOR group, an event run by Cardiff University called ‘What the Metro Might Do’. It was a worthwhile event that gave a full insight into the benefits the METRO concept could bring to South Wales and a chance to discuss with others MAGOR’s aims. We very much hope Magor and Undy will be an early part of the METRO when it comes into being.