The process is somewhat shrouded in secrecy, but some idea of what’s planned for Bridgend county (and the rest of south Wales) as part of the South Wales Metro has been released by Transport for Wales (pdf – Annex B).
The document colour-codes projects and proposals by their feasibility; blue will definitely be included in the next phase of the metro; green is being actively considered; amber needs further work and red proposals are ruled out for the foreseeable future.
Based on the document, there’s no project in Bridgend definitely going forward in the next phase of the Metro (blue), but there are projects being actively considered for inclusion.
Shortlisted for future approval
- Brackla Station (£6.1million).
- Bus rapid transit between Porthcawl & Bridgend (£17.3million).
Needs more feasibility work; could be included later
- Bus priority measures between Bridgend and Cardiff city centre via Cowbridge (no costings, but dependent on the effect of rail schemes).
- Bus priority measures between Bridgend and Treorchy via Sarn and Nantymoel (no costings, limited route options).
- New rail station at Bridgend College/Cowbridge Road (£8.5million; close to employment sites and built-up area but unlikely to provide journey time improvements).
- Double rail track between Garth and Tondu to enable 2 trains per hour (£13.2million; improves service frequency but still has a low score).
- Conversion of the Maesteg line to light rail (trams) with some limited street-running in Bridgend (this isn’t explained further) and possible onward journeys to Cardiff (£156.3million; simply electrifying the current line for heavy rail would achieve a similar benefit).
- Park and ride at Pyle railway station (£2.1million; rail services are too infrequent).
- Park and ride for Bridgend station (£2.1million; too far from a trunk road, no obvious site).
- New railway station at Sarn Park (£8.8million; less attractive than Brackla, poor site).
- Bus priority measures between Sarn and Blaengarw (no costings; limited opportunities to provide bus measures along the entirity of the route due to the topography).
- Bus priority measures between Maesteg and Sarn (no costings; rail and light-rail alternatives are better).
None of this is set in stone and even some of the “amber” projects – particularly a light-rail conversion of the Maesteg line with street-running in Bridgend – seem a bit far-fetched; but at least there’s some idea of their line of thinking now.