Council's confident on Port Talbot station revamp
A MAJOR announcement on the future of Port Talbot's tired old railway station is believed to be imminent.
Neath Port Talbot Council has been waiting since last December to find out if a multi-million redevelopment of the town's Parkway station has met with Welsh Government approval.
Questions have now been asked by Shadow Transport Minister Byron Davies, who said he was disappointed with the lack of progress.
However, Neath Port Talbot said it was expecting a decision soon and was extremely hopeful of a positive outcome.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Mr Davies, Conservative regional AM for South Wales West, said he had asked Local Government and Communities Minister Carl Sergeant what the status of the scheme was and when the upgrade would start.
In response, Mr Sergeant told him he would be announcing the stations to benefit from the Stations Improvement Grant strategy and confirmed Port Talbot was one of those being considered.
Mr Davies said: "I wrote to the minister in July last year urging him to approve plans to revamp Port Talbot station.
"So to hear 15 months later that the application is still under consideration is disappointing to say the least. It's time for action.
"Port Talbot Parkway was last revamped in the 1960s and is looking very tired and outdated. If we are to encourage more people to use public transport and leave their cars at home, we must provide modern facilities."
The Port Talbot Parkway refurbishment is seen as a key part of the town's wider regeneration, along with the £107 million new Harbour Way dual carriageway.
Neath Port Talbot Council has high hopes for the redevelopment of the docks area, for lower Station Road and for the town centre generally.
It worked in partnership with Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail on a bid to the Welsh Government's Wales Station Improvement programme for European funding, which was submitted last December.
In response to Mr Davies's comments, council chief executive Steve Phillips said: "We have been in discussions with the Welsh Government and Aberavon AM David Rees.
"We are awaiting a decision on Port Talbot Parkway. But we are extremely hopeful it will be positive for Port Talbot, and will boost our regeneration plans for Harbour Way and the town centre."