A community in Wales plans to launch a crowdfunding appeal in the New Year to try to raise money for a railway station feasibility study.
Previously such work was conducted by the South East Wales Transport Alliance but the consortium of 10 local authorities was abolished this year by Welsh transport minister Edwina Hart. In response, the community of Magor, east of Newport, decided to raise the £40,000 required for a formal study itself.
The Magor Action Group on Rail hopes its appeal through Crowdfunder.co.uk will raise £20,000. It aims to secure the remainder from other bodies. Crowd-funding donors could receive rewards ranging from commemorative fridge magnets to having their names displayed at the new station.
To avoid generating further car traffic in the villages of Magor and Undy, the group proposes a “walkway” station, as opposed to a parkway, with good access for pedestrians and cyclists.
Retired railway engineer Phil Inskip, a local member of campaign group Railfuture, said the station was estimated to cost about £5m, of which some £3m was for a footbridge complying with disabled access rules. He said the existing underpass at the same location would meet the disability rules if the ground were lowered by 30cm, to give 2.3m headroom.
‘If you brought it up to standard with lighting etc, then you could forget the footbridge.’
He said the villages had a population of about 7,000, with a further 500 houses on the way, and a high-level study from Southampton university had suggested Magor station could have a Benefit:Cost Ratio of 3.3:1.