PLANS have been submitted for works to improve access to Quakers Yard railway station in Merthyr Tydfil.
An application from Transport for Wales has been lodged with Merthyr Tydfil Council for a new footbridge, works to demolish, alter and extend the existing platform north of the railway line and the construction of a new platform south of the railway line.
It would also involve the removal of the existing pedestrian level crossing as well as new waiting shelters and cycle hoops.
The planning statement submitted with the application said the number of services running along this section of the Core Valley Lines network will be increasing.
It said the trains will also be upgraded to an electric fleet, which will be faster, quieter and provide more sustainable travel than the existing diesel engine stock.
There is an increased potential for conflicts between trains and users of the level crossing, the report said, adding that the development is needed to mitigate the increased health and safety risks associated with the improvement of rail services on the network.
The planning statement said it is necessary for Transport for Wales to provide alternative access at this location and that the construction of the footbridge, ramps and platform improvement works provide improved accessibility for the community.
The statement said the development has been through several stages before arriving at this solution.
It said: “After careful consideration of each option against the stated criteria, the preferred option was a footbridge with ramps and steps (option 3), primarily due to the station’s remote and low laying location.
“The whole life capital costs of a footbridge with a lift together with a likely increase in seclusion and anti-social behaviour resulted in option 2 not being selected, but still being preferred to option 1 which posed significant cost, programme, constructability and safety issues.”
It said the development would not give rise to unacceptable environmental effects and a range of mitigation measures have been included into the design with areas for new planting and biodiversity improvements highlighted.
The planning statement said the development would form part of the wider Core Valley Lines Transformation (CVLT) works, which would collectively improve rail links between Cardiff and the Valleys to the north of the city.
It said the development “The policy appraisal has shown that the proposed development would be in accordance with the relevant policies of the development plan and national policy.
“It would not give rise to any unacceptable environmental effects and could be managed to prevent harm to local amenity.”