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Abercynon Park and Ride Opens

14 January 2011



The Abercynon Park and Ride Scheme in South Wales has officially opened £1million within budget and six months ahead of schedule.

Designed by Capita Symonds and supported by Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail, the ‘Park and Ride’ facility is located on former scrub-land situated between the River Taff and Abercynon Station. A river bridge has also been constructed linking the local Navigation Business Park to the ‘Park and Ride’ car park which holds around 160 cars (including 11 disabled spaces), and is equipped with CCTV coverage.

The £3 million project was funded by Welsh Assembly Government and the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

First Minister for Wales Carwyn Jones AM and Deputy First Minister for Wales Ieuan Wyn Jones, who is also Minister for the Economy and Transport, joined Assembly Member for the Cynon Valley Christine Chapman, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader Cllr Russell Roberts and Cabinet Member for Transport, Customer Care and Emergency Planning, Cllr Andrew Morgan, for the official opening.

Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Cllr Russell Roberts said: “As a local authority, we are pleased to have delivered another major transport improvement in Rhondda Cynon Taf  – following on from successful projects such as the Church Village Bypass, Porth Relief Road and Llanharan Station projects,

...It’s great news that this project has been finished ahead of schedule and under budget. With a capacity for 160 cars and free parking, it should encourage people in the local area to use public transport which in turn will benefit the environment and ease pressure on other forms of transport...

“It is of paramount importance to encourage people to use sustainable and environmentally friendly forms of transport but this needs to be operated through having the right facilities.  The Abercynon Park and Ride does just that and meets a number of key policy objectives, including economic regeneration, sustainability and the environment.”

The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the European Union’s Convergence Programme administered by the Welsh Assembly Government. The remainder of the funding was provided by the Welsh Assembly Government through the Rail Forward Programme.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “It’s great news that this project has been finished ahead of schedule and under budget. With a capacity for 160 cars and free parking, it should encourage people in the local area to use public transport which in turn will benefit the environment and ease pressure on other forms of transport.”

Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones explained, “I am delighted for the people of Abercynon and the Cynon Valley that we are able to officially open this fantastic facility, which will not only help reduce road congestion and carbon emissions but also goes some way to continue the economic regeneration of this area. The people of this area deserve nothing less and we’re proud that even in this tough financial climate that we are continuing to invest in these valley communities. ”

...we proudly deliver the Abercynon Park and Ride Scheme well within budget and several months ahead of schedule thanks to excellent partnership working with all concerned...

Construction work on the project began in February 2010 and the park and ride facility was anticipated to be open to the public by the summer of 2011. But due to the tireless efforts of the project team, the scheme has opened 27 weeks earlier than expected. Originally the cost of the scheme was projected as £4million, but due to a combination of positive partnership working, excellent community relations, value engineering and good weather, a saving of £1million was made.

Cllr Andrew Morgan, who is also the Vice Chairman of the South East Wales Transport Alliance (Sewta) said: “This is a very important day for us in Rhondda Cynon Taf as we proudly deliver the Abercynon Park and Ride Scheme well within budget and several months ahead of schedule thanks to excellent partnership working with all concerned. I am confident that the many thousands of regular users will appreciate the benefits of this first-class facility in the county borough which will enhance their journeys on a daily basis.”

These improvements form part of the Sewta initiative to promote and deliver improved public transport across the region. Sewta is a regional consortium of the 10 south-east Wales local authorities that work together with partner organisations to deliver improved transport facilities.

The Chair of Sewta, Councillor Jeffrey James, of the Vale of Glamorgan said: "The opening of Abercynon Park and Ride is the latest chapter in Sewta's successful delivery of the South East Wales Regional Transport Plan which encourages sustainable travel by rail. The project also reflects the value of close collaboration between Sewta, the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) and the Welsh Assembly Government. 

“These important new facilities will significantly  increase access to the rail network and encourage Valleys' car users to change to rail for a significant part of their journey removing traffic from the congested routes into Pontypridd, Treforest and Cardiff."