Developments to change Port Talbot in 2013
NEW Port Talbot developments should provide a welcome boost to the town in 2013.
Aberavon AM David Rees and MP Dr Hywel Francis say the expected developments on their way to the town this year will change Port Talbot for the better.
This year will see the completion of Harbour Way, a three-year, £107 million dual carriageway project (PDR), which aims to ease pressure on the M4.
Work is also expected to start on the town's railway station, which is to get a £9.5 million makeover.
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Dr Francis said: "There are big changes facing Port Talbot and the whole constituency of Aberavon in 2013.
"There are real opportunities with the opening of the PDR and the progression of the second university campus to bring potential new skilled jobs.
"There are also big opportunities with the rebuilding of the Afan Lido and opening of a new railway station. It will mean a new gateway for that area."
But he said he was concerned about jobs at Tata Steel and the threat facing the Remploy plant.
"I am also concerned about the attack on the most vulnerable through the bedroom tax and other welfare reforms, which I shall continue to oppose in Parliament," he said.
Mr Rees said the state of the economy would continue to affect the town.
"My main hope is that we begin to see an economic recovery in the UK so that industries such as Tata will be able to increase production in response to that recovery," he said.
"We have seen a tough year for such industries and it is important that the UK Government use their fiscal levers to create the correct environment for that much- needed recovery.
"I will continue to work with the Welsh Government to ensure it does everything within its powers to support a recovery."
Despite the challenges, he said he was looking forward to many projects coming to fruition this year.
"Hopefully, developments will start on the lido once the decisions are made," he said.
"What we want is quick progress.
"Now funding is in place for the station hopefully work will start on that."
He said he was also looking forward to the submission of an application from Neath Port Talbot College to build a new campus on the dockside area, work being carried out at Margam Park following the £1.6 million grant being announced before Christmas, as well as the plans for the new Briton Ferry Resource Centre.