NewsProject Show Case

Levelling Up Fund Supports Cardiff Crossrail and New Cornwall Metro

Cardiff Crossrail Metro Line - Cardiff Bay Station

In order to advancing the plans to construct new metro lines in Cardiff and Cornwall, the £50M budget from the second round of the government’s Levelling Up Fund has been considered.

Considering Levelling Up Fund’s express function of providing sums of money to improve public transport with high-impact schemes to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, cut congestion, support economic growth, and improve the safety, security and overall experience of transport users, both of these projects suited the program.

Linking Cardiff Central to Cardiff Bay station, phase 1 of the Cardiff Crossrail project is a new tram line. The £50M won from the Levelling Up Fund will be match funded by the Welsh Government with a further £50M.

The advantages of this project are going to be delivery of a new rapid transport link from Cardiff Central to Cardiff Bay, via Callaghan Square, as well as providing a vital transport link to support the development of the Callaghan Square, Bute Street, Lloyd George Avenue and the Atlantic Wharf masterplan.

Stretching to Pierhead Street, just south of Cardiff Bay station, phase 1 of this project will extend a new transport hub, while this is due to link the tram line to the new Atlantic Wharf masterplan, where a new 15,000 capacity arena is to be built along with a mixed-use development for food and leisure, a cultural center, a landscaped public space, hotels, offices and more.

Building of o new platforms at Cardiff Central station and one new platform at Cardiff Bay, will be the civils works in Cardiff Crossrail Phase 1. Additionally, it is slated to be public realm improvements around the existing and new platforms and the road layout will be reconfigured to allow safe transition for the public between road, rail, cycling and walking.

The future intention of this project will be becoming a wider Cardiff Crossrail scheme that aims to ultimately link with the proposed Cardiff Parkway Station in St Mellons, in Cardiff east, unlocking opportunities for a number of new stations in the east of the city.

According to Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas: “The announcement of this funding package is a ringing endorsement of our plans to regenerate Cardiff Bay and Atlantic Wharf. This new route will finally see Butetown properly connected to the city center via Cardiff Central. It will not only serve visitors to the Bay and to the new Cardiff Arena, but it will also begin to make real the council’s ambitions for a Crossrail tram service which will run from the north west of the city all the way to the east of the city connecting with the proposed Parkway station. We look forward to working with UK Government and Welsh Government – which is match-funding the Levelling Up contribution – to deliver the scheme at pace.”

Being boosted by Cornwall Council, Great Western Railway and Network Rail, the Mid Cornwall Metro is a new train line and it is due to connect Newquay, Par, St. Austell, Truro, Penryn and Falmouth with hourly trains. Including the additional funds coming from Cornwall Council and other organizations, its total cost is estimated to £56.8M.

The works needed to make it a reality include a new platform at Newquay station, a new passing loop at Tregoss Moor, upgraded level crossings, new signaling at Goonbarrow, a new accessible lift bridge at Par station, extended platforms at Falmouth station and digitalization of rail ticketing. There will also be infrastructure upgrades needed at Newquay, Roche, Bugle, Penryn and Falmouth stations.

Providing all year local services, the Mid Cornwall Metro is going to raise frequency of mainline rail services between Par, St. Austell and Truro. Local and long-distance services will run concurrently along the Newquay branch.

Despite much of the infrastructure already in place, the expected date for this project’s inauguration is June 2024.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for the economy Louis Gardner said: “This is great news for residents and businesses in Cornwall. This project will make a real difference to the everyday lives of people and create so many opportunities by better connecting communities to jobs, services, education, and each other, as well as provide economic benefits in allowing quicker, easier access for commuters and visitors coming into the area. This is just the beginning, with further LUF bids to come as well as the £132M Shared Prosperity Fund we are already beginning to distribute to projects that drive good growth.”

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