Our first monthly meeting of the year, on the 18th January, reflected on the news of the recent grant awarded by Welsh Government to Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) and MAGOR to complete GRIP 3 and the detail of the plan for 2018/19 but the main focus was on two important meetings coming up later in the month!
On the 22nd January we met with Network Rail, Mott MacDonald, Arriva Trains Wales, and MCC in Cardiff. The meeting was convened in ‘workshop style’ to finalise the requirements to complete the remaining phases of GRIP 3 (Option Selection). With a number of engineers and specialists in attendance some important issues were raised, questions asked and actions noted but there were no ‘show-stoppers’ identified and it was agreed that the work should progress. Subsequent to the meeting MCC signed a service agreement with Network Rail which enables Mott MacDonald to now complete the GRIP 3 option reports. This was a major step forward.
Today, 31st January, Ted Hand, Christian Schmidt (of MCC) and I met James Price (Chief Executive of Transport for Wales) and his colleague Andrew Bold, to discuss the proposals for ‘Magor and Undy Walkway Station’ and its progress along the ‘GRIP Track’. Transport for Wales (TfW) is a ‘not for profit company’, owned by Welsh Government and exists to drive forward the Welsh Government’s vision of a high quality, safe, integrated, affordable and accessible transport network. This was the first time of meeting ‘Transport for Wales’ (which was kindly facilitated by Jessica Morden MP and John Griffiths AM) so we had a degree of trepidation in advance. However, the meeting went very well. It was productive and we agreed that we would continue to liaise with TfW so that we can help to develop and improve the transport services in Wales and, for us, with a particular focus on South East Wales and the cross-border services. James enthusiastically agreed to come out and visit the proposed Magor and Undy Walkway station site in the next month or so. We believe working with TfW will be key to the success or otherwise of ‘Magor and Undy’.
So it has been a busy, exciting and encouraging month but can I just take this opportunity to remind you that things are also progressing well with the Community Hub and that the presentation of the draft plans to the community is due to happen between the 6th and 10th February. Please try and make one of the presentations if you can. Details can be found by clicking here.