Metro Plus: Merthyr Tydfil Rail Interchange
What is the project about?
A £50 million programme of schemes has been developed (Metro Plus Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Programme), which will support the implementation of the South Wales Metro.
The Metro Plus RTA Programme will see each Local Authority within South East Wales receive a £3million share to implement a scheme. Funding is being provided from Welsh Government (£15million) and from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCRCD) (£15million) to implement this programme, with a further £20m being funded by Local Authority and private investment.
The project would provide a new Merthyr Tydfil railway building at the end of the Taff Vale line within the new Core Valley Lines.
Economic Regeneration Impact
The provision of a new gateway railway station building at Merthyr Tydfil is a key strategic aspiration of the new emerging Town Centre Masterplan, providing a significant regeneration impact within the Borough, increasing connectivity and accessibility to the wider region. Along with the anticipated success of the new transformational rail system on the Core Valley Lines network, investment at the Merthyr Tydfil rail station will further increase the accessibility, connectivity and use of sustainable transport modes.
Despite Merthyr Tydfil’s gateway location and general transport links, the town has experienced social and economic deprivation in recent years with unemployment, reduced town centre footfall and depopulation. The effects of this are evident in Merthyr Tydfil town centre with a few vacant shop premises at the lower end of High Street.
The provision of a new modern rail station, adjacent to brand new Merthyr Tydfil bus interchange, provides a unique opportunity to significantly improve the interchange facilities between bus and rail
services and create an attractive gateway to Merthyr Tydfil town centre. This will improve connectivity into the town centre and provide seamless transport connections, which can increase visitor footfall and act as a catalyst for much needed regeneration and investment in Merthyr Tydfil.
The improvements to the Core Valleys Lines and rail station will open a range of options for residents in terms of employment opportunities and access to services and facilities, both within Merthyr Tydfil and in the wider region. It will also have a transformative impact for residents, businesses, and the town centre itself through increased footfall, and enable residents to take advantage and maximise the impacts of other investments across the Capital Region.
Investment and leverage
The Metro Plus Phase 1 project for Merthyr Tydfil Rail Interchange is part of the wider strategic site development within the emerging Town Centre Masterplan. This was informed by a WelTAG Stage 1 study and one of its key aspirations was the enhancement of the current rail station as a key destination. Work has also commenced on identifying additional rail capacity and platform lengthening, complementary to providing a new rail station building.
The CCRCD and WG will each invest development funding into this project to develop the scheme to a stage that is necessary to attract additional funding from wider regeneration programmes.
Expected benefits and outcomes
The new Merthyr Tydfil Rail Interchange would:
- Increase the benefits gained from the delivery of the current enhancement to the Core Valleys Line network,
- Have a transformative impact on businesses, and the town centre itself through increased footfall,
- Enable residents to take advantage of, and maximise the impacts of, other investments across the Capital Region.
- Provide increased accessibility to and from Merthyr Tydfil and improved connectivity with the wider region.
The project would provide a new rail interchange facility at Merthyr Tydfil.