Following the delivery of a petition last week to the National Assembly for Wales, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, has sent a letter to Carno Station Action Group confirming that Carno is now on the list of stations to go forward to Stage Two of the New Stations Assessment Program. The petition contains 878 signatures and was presented to the Petitions Committee of the National Assembly for Wales to demonstrate that there is still a huge local demand for the station to be re-opened.
Shortly after the petition was launched in May this year, Ken Skates announced the New Stations Assessment Program, a new three stage process to assess stations in Wales for potential re-opening. There are 46 stations listed in the new program, of which 12 were initially chosen to go forward to Stage two of the process in May. In Mid-Wales only one station was on the list of 12, namely Bow Street near Aberystwyth. At the time Jeremy Barnes, Chairman of the Carno Station Action Group commented: “We are very disappointed and angry. Not only has this new assessment program been introduced without warning or consultation of any kind, but also that Carno has not been included in the list to go forward to Stage 2. We will be contacting Mr Skates urgently to discover the process which has been used to select these 12 stations.”
On the 28th July 2017 it was announced that a new station has been approved for Bow Street with funding from the UK Government and the Welsh Government. Carno Station Action Group then began an intense campaign, writing to Welsh AMs and in particular to Ken Skates, arguing that as Bow Street was now going ahead, Carno station should replace it as the Mid-Wales candidate on the list of 12 station to go forward to Stage 2. Almost six months after the New Stations Assessment Program was announced, Ken Skates has now agreed that this will happen.
Carno Station Action Group Chairman Jeremy Barnes commented: “Although this is very welcome news, we are disappointed that it has taken so long for Carno to be included in the list announced in May. We are now trying to contact Mr Skates’ department to see how far behind we are in the assessment process and whether that will put Carno at a disadvantage. We have produced a huge amount of documentation over the years, much of which will be useful in moving forward with Stage 2 of the New Assessment Program. We look forward to working with Mr Skates and his department to ensure that Carno station will be re-opened as soon as possible.”