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Cardiff Crossrail on the way?

Tram train

We told you before Christmas about the works on Queen Street station and Cardiff Central, among other things, in order to give Cardiff its true place as the regional Capital it is.

Recently the idea of a Cardiff CrossRail, a system of tram-train much like in Europe, has been put forward by the Metro Consortium to better connect Cardiff. The £200 project plans on electrifying train lines to the Valleys and the suburbs to make commuting easier from there to Cardiff centre. Trains would be quicker and more frequent. This would involve improving and creating stations in places like Ely Bridge, St Mellons, Rover Way and Wedal Road (Heath Hospital). This would probably not make transport within the centre much better but reaching the centre should be made easier.

Right now we must admit that public transportation in Cardiff could be improved. There is just one way into the Valleys, from Queen Street, and trains are… well… unreliable to say the least. According to the Local Development Plan set up by Cardiff Council and likely to be adopted in October 2015, our population is increasing drastically, so much as to reach 408,000 people in 2026, against 350,000 today. We therefore need to build new homes (about 45,500) and create new jobs (40% more), without forgetting to make the infrastructures grow accordingly to welcome all these new inhabitants.

The expected growth of Cardiff causes concern to Newport, which wants to keep its separate identity by creating a green belt/barrier between the two cities, and worries small villages which are expected to welcome thousands of new homes, like Creigiau. Adding so many people to our capital will obviously have consequences, some probably yet unforeseen.

For now one thing we know for sure is that transportation must be developed. Cardiff needs an efficient regional network and the refurbishment of Cardiff’s main train stations - to be completed by 2015 – will not suffice. Whether it is through this Crossrail project or through other means, we need better connections and improved travel facilities in Cardiff.

Talks of a new central bus station are still on the agenda, so we are eager to see what the future will be like, and if Cardiff will finally get transportation worthy of a Capital.

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