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'Woeful underprovision' for Rhiwbina and other stations on new Metro

Rhiwbina and other stations on the Coryton Line will get no extra trains as a result of the new South Wales Metro system - a situation described by the expert behind the concept as a "woeful underprovision" and a "serious failing".

Professor Mark Barry of Cardiff University, who conceived the idea of the South Wales Metro in 2011, has criticised the latest update on how it will work, Wales Online has reported today (Wednesday 17 April).

The cost of the scheme has now risen from the original estimate of £734 million to over £1 billion. And, although it will see electrification and improvements, stations such as Rhiwbina and others on the Coryton and City lines, including Whitchurch, Coryton, Birchgrove, and Ty Glas, will still only have two trains an hour in each direction.

This is despite the fact that these are the two most densely populated parts of the whole Metro network.

In a blog post, Professor Barry says two trains per hour is "a woeful underprovision" - with people expected to wait up to 30 minutes for a 15-minute ride into the city.

He writes: "In fact, only three non-city centre stations get any material change in services – Radyr, Llandaf and Cathays! 

"This is a serious failing given the large latent demand for higher quality and frequent public transport in Cardiff and where the potential demand is higher than many other parts of the network. 

"In contrast all the Metro stations in Caerphilly, Merthyr and RCT will be getting a minimum of 4tph [trains per hour] everywhere". 

He adds: "The current poor patronage on the City and Coryton lines is as a direct result of the poor service frequency. There really is little or no point operating a 2tph rail service in Cardiff if one is serious about mode shift and operational/financial efficiency.

"So we ought to be focussing the capacity where the demand is.  For me it is commercially and financially naïve to be operating 4tph all the way from Bargoed to Rhymney whilst only operating 2tph on the City and Coryton Lines in Cardiff." 

🚆 Earlier this month, the first electric train ran north of Cardiff to Pontypridd during daylight hours.  


It marked a vital step in the move towards creating the metro for south east Wales. 


On 3 April, a small crew completed the test run from Canton Depot via the City line up to Radyr and Pontypridd using the new overhead line electrification.  

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