Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 12:47 UK

6m park and ride scheme approved

Arriva Trains Wales train
It is hoped more drivers will take to the trains, cutting congestion

More than 350 new park and ride spaces along rail lines in south east Wales will be created in a £6m scheme.

New facilities at Abercynon and Bargoed stations and extensions at Rhymney and Pengam are due to be ready by 2011/12.

The improvements are intended to make use of extra trains and capacity along the Rhymney Valley and Taff Vale lines.

Welsh Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said the project would cut congestion and "continue the economic regeneration of the upper valleys".

Announcing the project's approval, Mr Jones said park and ride schemes were "vital" to achieve a "drastic" cut in carbon emissions and to provide a "system of sustainable transport fit for a 21st Century Wales".

"Together with our recent investment to deliver a half-hourly Merthyr to Cardiff train service this investment is another example of our plans to improve the transport infrastructure in this area," he added.

The assembly government will provide just over half of the money for the scheme, with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supplying the rest.

The new park and ride at Abercynon station will create 150 parking spaces on derelict land to the east of the station, linked to Navigation Business Park by a new river bridge.

As well as 90 new spaces at Bargoed there will be "safe walking routes" to bus and rail stations, extra street lights and CCTV. Trains from Bargoed to Cardiff increased from two or three an hour to four per hour in December 2005.

The extension at Pengam will increase the number of spaces from 60 to 160 spaces, with improvements to facilities including better street lighting and CCTV.

Park and ride spaces at Rhymney will double, from 25 to 50.

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