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Four new railway stations for Wales proposed to be built by 2024

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image captionWelsh ministers are seeking UK government funding for new stations

Four new railway stations could open in Wales by 2024 if the UK government agrees to a request by Welsh ministers.

Stations are proposed at Carno in Powys and St Clears in Carmarthenshire, as well as at Deeside Parkway, and a station at Ely Mill in Cardiff.

Transport Minister Ken Skates said they would improve rail connectivity and "supercharge" post Covid-19 recovery.

The UK government said bids would be independently assessed so the most beneficial were funded.

In a letter to UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Mr Skates called on him to invest in the Wales and Borders rail network through the UK government's Restoring Your Railways fund.

image captionA petition to reopen Carno station was presented to the Welsh Assembly in 2007

He said Transport for Wales had drawn up "a compelling case for all four [stations] to be developed as an integrated programme to improve access to the rail network across the regions of Wales.

"They will make a major contribution to improved rail connectivity, supercharge our post Covid-19 recovery, and develop our public transport for the future," he added.

"Our new station openings will be key to Building Back Better."

Mr Skates said Deeside Parkway and Ely Mill would be "key components" of their respective Metro developments with "major contributions to improved urban connectivity, employment/economic growth and reduced car use".

New stations at Carno and St Clears - to replace those which closed in the 1960s - would be seen as supporting "strong employment and sustainable economic growth through improved regional connectivity".

The minister also suggested longer-term discussions on new stations for Greenfield in Flintshire and Magor in Monmouthshire, as well as reopening passenger services between Gaerwen and Amlwch on Anglesey.

He also called for talks on restoring the line which served Abertillery in Blaenau Gwent, as well as the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen and Bangor-Caernarfon routes.

Plans to open a new station at Bow Street, near Aberystwyth, and a Cardiff Parkway station on the eastern outskirts of the city are already in progress.

The spokesman for the UK government's Department for Transport said investing in rail infrastructure was crucial to restarting the economy.

"We look forward to receiving several bids from Wales in the latest round of the New Stations Fund to connect communities across the country," he said.

"Each will be independently assessed in order that we fund the schemes which are most beneficial to passengers and communities."

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