EFFORTS continue unabated to secure the funding to complete ‘GRIP 3’, a key stage in the preparation to build a new station.
Since last month, representatives from the MAGOR group have again met with John Griffiths AM and Jessica Morden MP, both inveterate supporters of our project. It was a positive meeting where they agreed to jointly meet Ken Skates (the responsible Welsh Government minister) to re-present the case and to gain a better understanding of the prioritisation process. Jessica also agreed to raise some questions (pertaining to the plans for the ‘Relief Lines’ and the New Station Fund) with the UK government’s minister on behalf of the group. Monmouthshire County Council have also resubmitted the bid to Welsh Government (as they suggested) for funding from the 2019/20 Local Transport Fund.
Ted and I attended MCC’s Strategic Transport Group meeting, when we had the opportunity to lobby a representative from Transport for Wales, who happened to be presenting on proposals for improving the bus services across Wales. We specifically asked why the plans didn’t appear to recognise the need to integrate with train services or complement the growth in ‘active travel’, fundamental to the innovative Magor and Undy Walkway station concept.
We have yet to hear when the BBC is producing its story on MAGOR’s bid for funding but are assured it will be happening. What we do have certainty on, is that in March, we have been invited to a meeting with John Griffiths, Jessica Morden, Paul Matthews (CEO MCC), Peter Fox (Leader of MCC) and James Price (CEO of Transport for Wales). This will give us another opportunity highlight the opportunity Wales has in leading the way with the ‘Walkway’ model. Also in March, we will be meeting Professor Mark Barry, an adviser to Welsh Government on the development of the ‘The Metro’ and the author of the The Rail Network in Wales – the Case for Investment.
Next month, as well as planning for our usual stall at the May Fayre (perhaps joining up with the MUCH Group this year) we are also meeting a representative from the Living Levels project, as both MAGOR and MUCH feel there is a great deal we can do to assist each other’s aims.
2019 is going to be a very challenging year for us – it could well be ‘make or break’ time. You can help us by giving your views, on the need for a station for Magor and Undy, directly to your local politicians and the Welsh Government ministers responsible. Having come this far we are even more determined to succeed!
Finally, a special thank you to the Newport branch of the RMT, who have again this year made a generous donation to our funds to help keep our campaign going!