(Title Image: via Youtube)
The Welsh Government are to fund a £60,000 feasibility study to draft long-term solutions to issues caused by the level crossing in Pencoed and the Penprysg Road bridge.
The crossing causes notorious traffic problems and has also led to a moratorium being placed on any development in the west of the town.
At yesterday’s First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd, Huw Irranca-Davies AM (Lab, Ogmore) raised the matter:
“The two sides of this town are separated now by a level crossing which can be shut in peak times for up to 40 minutes in an hour, and the narrow Victorian road bridge which allows only for one-way traffic determined by a three-way traffic light system. This can lead to utter gridlock in the town, immense frustration for residents and businesses, air pollution and congestion, and a dead hand on housing and wider economic development. It’s also notorious, by the way, the level crossing, for its accidents and its close shaves with pedestrians and traffic, and, of course, the stretch is unfortunately also infamous for fatalities through suicide.”
– Huw Irranca-Davies AM
The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, saw the issues at the crossing for himself on Monday (28th January).
He cautioned that while the Welsh Government are funding the feasibility study, responsibility for railway infrastructure rests with the UK Government; London will have to at least part-finance any long-term solution, the most commonly-mentioned one being a replacement bridge at Penprysg Road.
In reply to a follow-up question from Bethan Sayed AM (Plaid, South Wales West), the First Minister also said rail journey times between Maesteg and Cardiff are expected to drop to 46 minutes (from 55 minutes) by 2023 and Sunday services on the Maesteg line (which will include Pencoed) will be introduced later in 2019. However, there was no mention of long-promised half-hourly services.