European cash boost for South Wales Metro

THE Welsh Government has secured £119 million of EU funding to make progress with its plans for a South Wales Metro.

The deal has been confirmed by First Minister Carwyn Jones. It means that infrastructure upgrades can go ahead, so that frequencies can be improved on the Valley Lines. Some stations will also be improved.

The money includes £21.1 million for the Merthyr line for track doubling between Merthyr Tydfil and Pentrebach, and between Merthyr Vale and Quakers Yard. New platforms will be built for the doubled sections,

There will be £27.4 million for the Treherbert line, £23.7 million for the Aberdare line, £19.5 million for the Rhymney line and £27.3 million for the scheme to build a depot at Taff’s Well, where the new Metro fleet will be maintained.

Carwyn Jones said: ‘The South Wales Metro is an important part of our ambition as a government to improve public transport and better connect our Valleys communities and people to employment opportunities.

‘Today’s confirmation of £119 million EU funding means we can proceed with investment in infrastructure work on the valleys lines to make faster and more efficient journeys a reality for the thousands of rail users who use these routes daily.’

The Welsh Government is also applying for a further £40 million or more in EU funding to pay for additional infrastructure enhancements, which it hopes will be secured by the end of 2018.

Work on South Wales Metro Phase 2 is expected to be completed by 2023.

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