Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin was given a tour of Cardiff Central Station today, Thursday 3 December 2015, to see major improvements being carried out by Network Rail to deliver better journeys for passengers.
The Transport Secretary also visited a number of other major transport and infrastructure sites in Wales, including the Severn Crossing, ahead of his keynote speech to the CBI annual Wales dinner.
Patrick McLoughlin said:
The UK government is determined to help build a new transport legacy for Wales. Lots has already been done and it was pleasing to see the great progress made in upgrading Cardiff Central Station. The Great Western Main Line to Cardiff and Swansea is being electrified and we are ensuring the benefits of HS2 come to Wales as soon as possible by building the line to Crewe 6 years early.
The UK government continues to invest in infrastructure in Wales. During this Parliament Wales will see a £900 million increase in capital funding, a boost of over 16% in real terms, to invest in infrastructure and help boost economic growth in the country.
During the visit to Cardiff Central Station the Transport Secretary met with Network Rail and Arriva Wales staff, who showed him around the busiest station in Wales and talked him through improvement works.
A wider station entrance with a new ticket gate-line, ticket booking office and customer information screens opened earlier this year, providing additional station capacity. New track, new signalling and a new platform at Cardiff Central Station are being provided to help improve the reliability of rail services for passengers.
Paul McMahon, route managing director for Network Rail Wales, said:
The railway in Wales is carrying almost 50% more passengers than it was a decade ago and that number is predicted to grow significantly in the years ahead - with up to 32 million passengers forecast to use Cardiff Central Station by 2043.
Work we are already doing as part of our ‘Railway upgrade plan’ will make a big difference, including electrification from London through to Cardiff and Swansea and installing new signalling to help deliver improved reliability for passengers.
There is still more to do to meet future demand and we set out a number of investment choices for funders in our draft route study, including a major redevelopment of Cardiff Central station to build a station fit for a capital city.