A closer look at the Vale LDP: The spur is still in there…

On closer examination, the rail spur from the Vale line into Cardiff Airport is still a part of the Vale of Glamorgan’s thinking, if not their immediate plans.

In our previous post. we reported that the rail spur had been taken out of the Vale Council’s immediate plans for development in the county, but now that we’ve had the chance to take a closer look at the Local Development Plan, we’ve noticed that they hold out the possibility of building the rail spur at some (unspecified) time in the future, to support the Enterprise Zone at Cardiff Airport.

spursnippet

Reference to the Cardiff Airport Rail Spur in the Vale of Glamorgan’s Local Development Plan (page 71)

The reference comes in a section that deals with the Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone on pages 70 – 71. the enterprise zone is an initiative to create employment opportunities in the aerospace and defence sectors, and is located at the Aerospace business park in St Athan and the land adjacent to Cardiff Airport and Port Road.

The LDP says that a “Masterplan” is being prepared by the Welsh Government, and will inform part of the future planning and development of the land, and will address a number of issues including the development of the land for employment, the provision of an energy centre and “Safeguarding of a route for a potential rail link to Cardiff Airport across the site…”.

In order to “Safeguard a route”, the Welsh Government will need to identify that route, and this prompts questions about where it will go, what habitats it might disturb and the impact that it may have on the Vale line. As we have shown before, a spur from the Vale line to the airport will disrupt the important commuter connection from Llantwit Major and Rhoose into Cardiff, just as the electrification of the line is announced.

So could Vale commuters see their Vale line increase to half hourly trains only to be quickly pegged back to the existing (and inadequate) hourly service? How will this “Masterplan” will be put together, including crucially, will the people of the Vale have a democratic opportunity to respond to the plan while it is still in a draft form?

Direct rail spur: not what Cardiff Airport really needs

There is considerable discussion of Cardiff Airport in the press and the Assembly at the moment, following the First Minister’s recent comments about its management. There certainly are productive things that Assembly Members could do to help the airport thrive, but building a better rail link than the current one from Rhoose station is NOT top of the list. Here’s why.

Public exhibition of the plans, including the rail spur plan

Here’s a useful bit of info concerning the Local Development Plan from Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website:

During the consultation period, the Council is holding a series of public exhibitions at the following locations where Council staff can help explain the LDP process and answer any questions you may have…

Saturday 17 March 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Dock Office, Barry
Tuesday 20 March 2 p.m – 7 p.m. Cowbridge Town Hall
Saturday 24 March 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Llantwit Major Town Hall

Members of the LDP team will also be available to discuss the Deposit LDP and associated documents at the Council’s Dock Office in Barry throughout the consultation period during normal working hours.

The Council’s Dock Office in Barry is at:

The Vale of Glamorgan Council
LDP Team
Dock Office
Barry
CF63 4RT

Although much of the planning info is available on the web, it’s a great opportunity to put your questions to council officers.