New Swansea railway station 'ticket to opportunity'

A Great Western train Image copyright PA
Image caption Journey times between Cardiff and west Wales could be cut by 15 minutes, a report said

A £20m railway station north of Swansea could slash journey times and boost business, the Welsh secretary says.

Alun Cairns is visiting the city to press the case for a West Wales Parkway station at Felindre, after a report said it could cut congestion on the M4.

It would be built on a line currently used mainly by freight trains.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said he was worried the plan might mean fewer trains calling at the existing Swansea and Neath stations.

The report, by transport expert Prof Stuart Cole, said a new station on a route bypassing the city centre could cut journey times between Cardiff and west Wales by up to a quarter of an hour.

Image copyright Swansea Council
Image caption Trains would use the Swansea District Line (green) to stop at a new station at Felindre

Mr Cairns, visiting the city on Thursday to press the case for the station, said it would be a "ticket to greater opportunity" for the region.

He said he needed "positive engagement" from the Welsh Government and Swansea Council, which both own land adjoining the proposed station, which would need a car park.

The station could serve major employers like the DVLA and Morriston Hospital, and the nearby Parc Felindre which to date has just one tenant signed up.

Before meeting the minister, Mr Stewart said: "A new parkway station should be part of a Swansea Bay Metro network but it cannot be the only thing we get."

He was worried the station on its own would divert trains away from Neath and Swansea.

"I can't support something, as leader, which potentially damages the city," he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Asked about the issue, Mr Cairns said he would "guarantee that services which go to Neath and Swansea should not be affected".

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