It’s been more than 5 years since the MAGOR campaign was officially launched in 2013, on a warm spring evening in the hall of the Magor Baptist Chapel. Since then we have come a long way, in what we always knew was going to be a ‘long haul’. We have completed GRIP 1 and GRIP 2 and are now well on the way to completing GRIP 3 (Option Selection). We came very close to securing funding from the government’s ‘New Station Fund’, with the Department for Transport immediately encouraging us to re-apply as soon as GRIP 3 has been completed. The proposal has recently been raised by Jessica Morden MP with the Transport Minister in a parliamentary end-of-day debate. It has support in the Welsh Assembly and is on the radar of Transport for Wales, the organisation responsible for implementing new transport projects.
With this in mind, our meeting in June focused on planning an event to celebrate the 5 years of progress and to ensure our community understands the current status and what we need from residents to ensure we bring the project to a successful conclusion – the opening of the Magor & Undy Walkway station! At the event, which we will develop in collaboration with the MUCH group and MUCC, we intend to be interactive and informative and involve some key speakers. It will likely be held by a return to the Baptist Chappel, for what we hope you will find to be a really engaging session.
At the event we will be emphasizing the importance of adopting and accepting the ‘Walkway’ concept if the station is to approved. Apart from the complementary effect of reducing the load on Severn Tunnel Junction (and the villagers of Rogiet) and the positive environmental impact of reducing vehicle pollution caused by people taking to their cars to and from that station, there are significant financial benefits. We have been working with sustrans, the organisation that promotes walking and cycling. They have estimated the potential annual savings for individuals making daily commutes to Bristol (using a car and parking at Severn Tunnel Junction, then the train) and Cardiff (by driving and parking in the city). The annual savings are £1196 and £3960 respectively. Not only would residents benefit from those savings but also they would be walking a total of 30 minutes per day, enough to meet the recommended 150 minutes physical activity over a five-day working week!
A number of activities are now progressing through the summer. For example, the judging of the school children’s Great Western Railway sponsored competition is now underway (by GWR). Next week, we are attending a ‘Cross Country Trains Stakeholders Event’ in Cardiff, as part of the group’s continued effort to work with the Train Operating Companies to improve services. Similarly, we are in the process of fixing a date to meet the newly appointed, Wales and Borders service (Keolis Amey). More on those items next month.
Finally, a reminder – our next monthly meeting, on the 19th July, is the AGM. Please come along, all are welcome!