Minister’s loop decision pre-empts carno station assembly hearing

The decision on August 8th by the Minister for the Economy and Transport to retain the Talerddig passing loop on the Cambrian line rather than move it to Carno has been greeted with anger and dismay by campaigners for the re-opening of Carno station. The rushed announcement by the new Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, of expenditure on improving loops at Dyfi Junction, Talerddig and Welshpool effectively pre-empts the deliberations of the National Assembly Enterprise and Learning Committee, which was due to hold a hearing into the station re-opening petition in Carno in less than four weeks time.

The Carno Station Action Group believes that, with the loop retained at Talerddig, there just would not be sufficient time to insert an extra station stop between Talerddig and the extended Welshpool loop and still maintain the 30 minute running time between these passing places, as will be required once the planned hourly service is introduced. In consideration of this, Local AM Mick Bates, Mid and West Wales AM Alun Davies and Petitions Committee member Mike German AM had all written to the Minister asking him to defer a decision on precise passing loop locations until after the Committee hearing, but their requests have apparently been ignored.

Carno Station Action Group chairman, Tony Burton, said “There had been a real hope that the new Plaid Cymru/Labour coalition government would develop imaginative responses to the problems of rural Wales and would place a greater emphasis on sustainability. However, in this case the Minister merely seems to have rubber stamped a departmental decision, which simply maintains the status quo as far as Carno is concerned.”

Community Council Clerk Mr Alan Humphreys said “It looks as if the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Assembly are operating at complete cross purposes. In arranging an Assembly Committee Hearing in Carno within two months of the presentation of our petition, the Assembly has acted with creditable alacrity, but now it is very hard to see what the Committee hearing can usefully achieve. Despite receiving requests from the CSAG to delay his decision and being approached by his colleagues at the Assembly, including the Presiding Officer, he has chosen to proceed and it is felt  we are all entitled ask why he could not have waited to after September 4th . Mr Wyn Jones has been badly advised by his officials and shown a lack of courtesy to the members of the Enterprise and Learning and Petitions Committees. The CSAG petition was the first to be subject to the new, much publicised, procedure to give the Welsh electorate greater interaction with the Assembly and for the Assembly to be able to demonstrate it was prepared to listen. The Minister has managed to undermine all this before it could deliver a decision on its first petition and has serious damaged the integrity of the procedure and the confidence people can place in it.”

Mr Burton added: “The infrastructure changes associated with the hourly service presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end the wasteful practice of routinely stopping trains in open country at Talerddig and to give Carno back its station without extending train journey times. Network Rail proposed relocating the Talerddig passing loop to Carno as one of the two shortlisted passing loop patterns for the hourly service. The Welsh Assembly Government should have risen to the opportunity presented.”

 

Notes:

(1) The Enterprise and Learning Committee of the National Assembly are due to hold a hearing in Carno on September 4th into the station re-opening petition. This “calls upon the Welsh Assembly Government to re-open Carno Station and end the wasteful practice of stopping trains outside Talerddig with no passenger benefit.” The Committee will take evidence from the Welsh Assembly Government, Network Rail, Arriva Trains Wales, Powys County Council and the Carno Station Action Group.

(2) If the passing loop were relocated at Carno, the round trip running time from the passing loop to Birmingham and back would be shortened by about five minutes. This extra leeway would make the train service more reliable and, in particular, reduce the need to turn trains back at Wolverhampton. This has been a regular occurrence for about two years now, and causes great inconvenience to passengers, especially the elderly and infirm.

 

(3) Retaining the loop at Talerddig will entail the laying of two and a half miles of extra track South of Welshpool to extend the existing Welshpool passing loop. This is required in order to achieve the required 30 minute running time between passing places, and will cost about £5 million on its own! This extra track will have to be maintained, so the Talerddig decision is likely to be more costly in the end.

School Poster Competition

A poster competition was held at Carno Primary School in the summer term on the theme of re-opening Carno station, stimulating a lerge number of colourful and imaginative entries. A CSAG member generously provided money for prizes, which were presented to the three prizewinners by Councillor Rachel Davies at the end of term.

The three winning entries are included below – click on each to see an enlarged

First Prize
First Prize
Second Prize
Second Prize

view.

Third Prize
Third Prize

Adroddiad Y Pwyllgor Menter A Dysgu

ADRODDIAD Y PWYLLGOR MENTER A DYSGU DEISEB I AILAGOR GORSAF RHEILFFORDD CARNO
Cefndir
Yn ei gyfarfod ar 11 Gorffennaf, trafododd yr Aelodau’r ddeiseb i ailagor gorsaf rheilffordd Carno, a gyflwynwyd i’r Pwyllgor gan y Pwyllgor Deisebau. Teimlai’r Aelodau fod yr achos yn haeddu sylw gofalus a manwl ac felly penderfynodd glywed tystiolaeth gan y deisebwyr a’r prif randdeiliaid mewn cyfarfod yng Ngharno.Cyfarfu’r Pwyllgor yng Ngharno ar 4 Medi yng Nghanolfan Gymuned Carno. Cafodd y cyfleusterau a’r croeso cynnes gryn argraff ar yr Aelodau ac maent am ddiolch i bawb a fu ynghlwm wrth y trefniadau. Clywodd y Pwyllgor dystiolaeth gan y canlynol:Deisebwyr dros ailagor gorsaf rheilffordd Carno: Tony Burton – Y Prif Ddeisebwr, Gr?p Gweithredu Goraf CarnoCyngor Sir Powys: Philip Jackson – Rheolwr Trafnidiaeth a Rheoli DatblyguNetwork Rail: Mike Gallop – Rheolwr Gwella Siwrnai; Ian Baxter – Uwch Noddwr Cynlluniau MasnacholTrenau Arriva Cymru: Mike Bagshaw – Cyfarwyddwr MasnacholLlywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru: Tim James – Pennaeth yr Uned RheilffyrddMae’r Pwyllgor yn diolch i’r tystion am eu tystiolaeth lafar ac ysgrifenedig. Mae cofnod o’r cyfarfod a’r papurau ynghlwm fel Atodiadau 1 a 2 i’r adroddiad hwn. Cafwyd tystiolaeth ychwanegol gan y Prif Ddeisebwr ar ôl y cyfarfod, ac mae’r dystiolaeth hon yn Atodiad 3.
 
Cyflwyniad
Dyma’r prif faterion a gododd yn y dystiolaeth:
???? A oes angen gorsaf newydd ac a oes galw amdani ymhlith teithwyr?
???? A yw’n dechnegol bosibl ailagor yr orsaf?
???? Costau
???? Yr effaith ar wasanaethau rheilffyrdd
 
A oes angen gorsaf newydd ac a oes galw amdani ymhlith teithwyr?
Cafodd y Pwyllgor dystiolaeth ysgrifenedig gan Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno a oedd yn amcangyfrif y byddai 11,175 o siwrneiau sengl bob blwyddyn o’r orsaf newydd yng Ngharno, ac mai teithwyr sy’n defnyddio gorsaf Caersws ar hyn o bryd fyddai 6,478 ohonynt. Dywedodd Network Rail fod y ffigyrau hyn yn cyfateb i gyfanswm o oddeutu 30 o deithwyr y diwrnod yn defnyddio’r orsaf newydd, ac y byddai oddeutu 14 o’r rhain yn deithwyr newydd.Dywedodd Network Rail y byddai agor gorsaf newydd a fyddai’n denu teithwyr o orsaf arall mynd yn groes i egwyddorion yr Adran Drafnidiaeth. O gofio am y pryder cynyddol am y newid yn yr hinsawdd, dadl Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno oedd y dylid ystyried y gostyngiad yn y nifer a fyddai’n teithio yn eu ceir i Gaersws, wrth bwyso a mesur yr achos.

Cyflwynwyd achos hefyd o blaid agor gorsaf yng Ngharno er mwyn rhoi hwb i’r gwaith o adfywio’r ardal ar ôl cau ffatri Laura Ashley. Awgrymodd y Gr?p hefyd y byddai gorsaf yn hybu ‘twristiaeth werdd’ yn yr ardal.Dywedodd Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru wrth y Pwyllgor y byddai’n rhaid cyflwyno achos busnes ffurfiol ac y byddai’n rhaid ystyried unrhyw gais am arian ochr yn ochr ag unrhyw gynigion eraill i agor gorsaf newydd yng Nghymru. Clywodd y Pwyllgor fod gorsafoedd newydd wedi’u codi, neu wrthi’n cael eu codi, mewn ardaloedd eraill yng Nghymru lle’r oedd y boblogaeth gryn dipyn yn fwy, er y nodwyd nad yw’n bolisi gan Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru wahaniaethu o ran maint y boblogaeth wrth ystyried achosion busnes i agor gorsafoedd.Barn y Pwyllgor yw byddai’n anodd cyfiawnhau’r achos i agor gorsaf newydd yng Ngharno ar sail yr amcangyfrif o nifer y teithwyr yn unig. Fodd bynnag, byddai’n bosibl cyflwyno achos yn gysylltiedig ag amcanion ehangach yn ymwneud â hybu cymuned wledig ac adfywio ardal sydd wedi dioddef oherwydd y penderfyniad i gau ffatri Laura Ashley a’r swyddi a gollwyd yn sgil hynny. Mae’r ffaith fod Carno wedi’i leoli ar y lein rhwng Caersws a Machynlleth, lle nad oes gorsaf am dros 20 milltir (gyda’r orsaf agosaf chwe milltir i’r dwyrain yng Nghaersws) yn ychwanegu at y ddadl o blaid cael goraf newydd yno. Byddai llawer yn dibynnu ar gost yr orsaf newydd a’r effaith y byddai’n ei gael ar y gwasanaeth bob awr y bwriedir ei gyflwyno. Mae angen datblygu achos busnes ffurfiol.

 
A yw’n dechnegol bosibl ailagor yr orsaf?
Mae dau brif fater:
???? lleoliad y ddolen basio a gaiff ei hadeiladu i wella’r seilwaith – gwaith a ariennir gan Network Rail a Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru er mwyn ei gwneud hi’n bosibl darparu gwasanaeth bob awr ar Rheilffordd y Cambrian ac sy’n gysylltiedig â system signalau ERTMS1;
???? pa mor addas yw’r safle yng Ngharno ar gyfer gorsaf rheilffordd o gofio safonau diogelwch cyfoes HMRI2.
Dolen Carno neu Dalerddig
Dywedodd Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno wrth y Pwyllgor bod achos dros leoli’r ddolen basio yng Ngharno fel bo’r trên sy’n stopio yn y ddolen yn caniatáu i deithwyr fynd ar y trên a dod oddi arno, yn hytrach na’i fod yn stopio allan yng nghefn gwlad yn Nhalerddig.Roedd y ddolen yng Ngharno, meddent, yn fwy canolog i’r lein gyfan a chan hynny roedd manteision gweithredol gan y byddai’n gwella prydlondeb. Cytunodd Trenau Arriva Cymru y byddai dolen yng Ngharno yn arwain at “a small optimisation [of] timetabling and performance because its location is favourable to Talerddig in terms of its position on the route in relation to other passing points”.Yn ystod yr astudiaethau dichonoldeb a gomisiynodd Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru mewn perthynas â’r prosiect i wella’r seilwaith, ystyriodd Network Rail y posibilrwydd o greu dolen yng Ngharno. Gwrthodwyd yr opsiwn hwn oherwydd y teimlwyd y byddai’n well gwella’r ddolen bresennol yn Nhalerddig. Yn eu tystiolaeth ysgrifenedig dywedodd Network Rail3“insufficient performance benefits [of a loop at Carno] exist when compared to the retention of Talerddig”.Dywedodd Network Rail a Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru wrth y Pwyllgor fod prosiect peilot ERTMS3 ar Reilffordd y Cambrian yn gyfle unigryw i wella agweddau eraill ar y seilwaith a fyddai’n gwella perfformiad a dibynadwyedd. Byddai’r gwelliannau hyn hefyd yn ei gwneud yn bosibl cyflwyno gwasanaeth bob awr yn y dyfodol, cyn belled â bod y cyllid angenrheidiol ar gael.Eglurodd Network Rail eu bod wedi cynnwys dolen yng Ngharno fel rhan o un opsiwn i wella’r seilwaith. Cafodd hwn ei hepgor wedyn yng ngham datblygu un opsiwn GRIP44. Dywedodd Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno na chawsant wybod pam na chafodd yr opsiwn i greu dolen yng Ngharno ei gynnwys yn astudiaeth GRIP4.Clywodd y Pwyllgor gan Network Rail a Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru fod y penderfyniad i fwrw ymlaen â’r prosiect i wella’r seilwaith wedi’i wneud erbyn diwedd mis Gorffennaf 2007 er mwyn medru integreiddio’r prosiect â’r gwaith signalau ar gyfer prosiect peilot ERTMS ar Reilffordd Cambrian. Gan fod prosiect ERTMS yn brosiect sydd ag ‘arwyddocâd cenedlaethol’ pennwyd terfyn amser penodol ar ei gyfer, sef mis Rhagfyr 2008. Dyma pam y cyhoeddodd Dirprwy Brif Weinidog Cymru ar 8 Awst y byddai arian ar gael ar gyfer y prosiect i wella’r seilwaith. Mae’r arian hwn wedi’i seilio ar benerfyniad Network Rail i ddewis gwella’r ddolen bresennol yn Nhalerddig a chreu dolen estynedig yn y Trallwng.Safonau gorsafoedd HMRIDywedodd Network Rail wrth y Pwyllgor, pe bai gorsaf newydd yn cael ei chodi yng Ngharno, byddai’n rhaid gwyro oddi wrth safonau cynllunio Arolygiaeth Rheilffyrdd Ei Mawrhydi o ran graddiant a chrymedd y lein. Dim ond mewn achosion eithriadol y mae’n bosibl caniatáu hynny. Roedd y safonau hyn yn wahanol i’r rheini a oedd yn berthnasol i greu dolen basio. Dywedodd Network Rail fod safle’r orsaf ar raddiant serth parhaus dros 7 milltir o Gaersws a bod hynny’n golygu nad oedd y safle’n addas ar gyfer gorsaf ac y byddai hynny’n effeithio ar berfformiad. Dywedodd Trenau Arriva Cymru fod hyn yn achos pryder o safbwynt gweithredu’r lein.Nododd Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno y bu gorsaf ar y safle yn y gorffennol a bod adeilad gwreiddiol yr orsaf yn dal yn sefyll. Mae’r orsaf hefyd yn sefyll ar dir gwastad dros 400 metr o hyd.
 
Costau
Clywodd y Pwyllgor gan Network Rail eu bod yn credu y byddai creu dolen newydd yng Ngharno yn costio £0.6 miliwn mwy na’r gwaith o wella’r ddolen yn Nhalerddig. Roedd yr angen i greu seidin i beirianwyr yn Nhalerddig yn ffactor arall a fyddai’n ychwanegu at y costau pe bai dolen Carno yn cael ei hadeiladu hefyd.Byddai angen adeiladu dolen basio hirach yn y Trallwng ar gyfer y ddau opsiwn, ond pe bai opsiwn Talerddig yn cael ei ddewis, byddai angen ymestyn y ddolen ddwy filltir ymhellach i’r gorllewin.Dywedodd Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno wrth y Pwyllgor nad ystyriwyd y costau ychwanegol a oedd ynghlwm wrth y gwaith o gynnal a chadw dwy filltir ychwanegol o reilffordd yn nolen y Trallwng a phe bai’r costau hynny’n cael eu cynnwys, o safbwynt y prosiect yn ei gyfanrwydd, byddai’r cynllun ar gyfer Carno yn costio 10% yn llai na’r cynllun ar gyfer Talerddig. Awgrymwyd hefyd y gellid creu seidin i beirianwyr drwy ddefnyddio’r hen wely trac yng Ngharno.Amcangyfrifodd Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno y byddai gorsaf newydd a dau blatfform 10 metr yn costio tua £350,000. Seiliwyd y ffigwr hwn ar gostau’r orsaf yn Beauly, ger Inverness yn yr Alban, a agorodd yn 2002. Eu dadl nhw oedd bod y groesfan wastad yn ddigon agos i deithwyr, gan gynnwys y rheini ag anableddau, gyrraedd y naill blatfform neu’r llall. Er y byddai’r platfformau 10 metr yn fyrrach na hyd y trenau a fyddai’n debygol o alw, yn Beauly, roedd platfform byr, tebyg wedi bod yn llwyddiannus iawn, meddai’r Gr?p, gyda thocynnwr y trên yn agor y drysau priodol.Amcangyfrifodd Network Rail y byddai adeiladu gorsaf newydd yng Ngharno yn costio £5 miliwn. Amcangyfrifodd Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru y byddai’n costio rhwng £4 miliwn a £5 miliwn. Seiliwyd y ffigyrau hyn ar ddau blatfform a fyddai’n addas ar gyfer trên pedwar cerbyd, pont droed i’r teithwyr gyrraedd y ddau blatfform, yn unol â gofynion Deddf Gwahaniaethu ar sail Anabledd 1995 , a gwaith i wella diogelwch ar y groesfan wastad. Dywedodd Network Rail na fyddai gorsaf newydd gyda phlatfformau byr fel gorsaf Beauly yn cael ei ganiatáu’n awr oherwydd rhesymau diogelwch ac y byddai’n rhaid i’r platfformau fod mor hir â’r trên hiraf a fyddai’n debygol o alw. Nid oedd yn bosibl i bobl ddefnyddio’r groesfan wastad chwaith i gyrraedd y ddau blatfform oherwydd rhesymau diogelwch a fyddai’n codi wrth i deithwyr groesi’r lein. Byddai angen codi pont droed, gan gynnwys rampiau i bobl anabl. Byddai hefyd angen gwella’r groesfan wastad â’r rhwystrau diogelwch presennol.Barn y Pwyllgor yw y byddai rhai manteision gweithredol, o bosibl, pe bai’r ddolen yn cael ei lleoli yng Ngharno yn hytrach na Thalerddig. Nid oes gwahaniaeth sylweddol yng nghost y naill ddewis neu’r llall a byddai manteision posibl o godi gorsaf newydd yng Ngharno yn hytrach na stopio trenau allan yng nghefn gwlad. Fodd bynnag, o gofio’r cyfyngiadau amser a osodwyd gan Network Rail a phrosiect ERTMS , mae’n awr yn rhy hwyr i ofyn i Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru ailystyried ei phenderfyniad i fwrw ymlaen â’r prosiect i wella’r seilwaith drwy wella’r ddolen yn Nhalerddig.
 
Yr effaith ar wasanaethau rheilffyrdd
Yn eu tystiolaeth ysgrifenedig, dywedodd Network Rail y byddai gorsaf newydd yng Ngharno yn amharu ar y manteision y byddai’r seilwaith newydd yn ei sicrhau o ran yr amserlen a pherfformiad.“Insertion of an additional station call at Carno instead of passing through the loop at line speed [65 mph] would compromise all the output benefits realised by the infrastructure enhancement project.”Dywedodd Network Rail wrth y Pwyllgor hefyd eu bod yn ystyried Rheilffordd y Cambrian fel ffordd gyflym o deithio o Ganolbarth Cymru i ffin Lloegr ac ymlaen i Orllewin Canolbarth Lloegr. Cytunodd Trenau Arriva Cymru gan roi’r disgrifiad a ganlyn o’r lein: “a fast, inter-urban line that serves a number of key communities that act as rail heads to smaller communities”.Awgrymodd Trenau Arriva Cymru y byddai ychwanegu dim ond un orsaf arall ar hyd y lein yn effeithio gryn dipyn ar berfformiad ac yn golygu y byddai teithwyr yn fwy amharod i deithio ar y lein. Fodd bynnag, ni chynigiwyd unrhyw dystiolaeth benodol i ddangos y byddai un orsaf ychwanegol yn atal pobl rhag teithio ar y lein.Dywedodd Network Rail:“We would take some convincing as to the benefit of any new station on this line.”Dywedodd Cyngor Sir Powys eu bod yn cefnogi “dyheadau’r gymuned leol” yng Ngharno, ar yr amod na fyddai hynny’n amharu ar y bwriad i gyflwyno gwasanaeth bob awr nac ar y cynnydd yn y traffig ar Reilffordd y Cambrian.Cynigiodd Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno y syniad o gyflwyno gwasanaeth bob dwy awr yng Ngharno, pe bai gwasanaeth bob awr yn cael ei gyflwyno. Mae’r syniad hwn yn cael ei egluro’n fanylach yn y dystiolaeth ychwanegol a gyflwynodd y Gr?p ar ôl y cyfarfod ar 4 Medi (gweler Atodiad 3). Mae’n dibynnu ar adeiladu’r ddolen basio newydd yng Ngharno a byddai’n hepgor aros yng Nghyffordd Dyfi ar gyfer y trenau hynny fyddai aros yng Ngharno. Awgrymodd y gr?p hefyd y gellid darparu gwasanaeth bob dwy awr i Garno, pe cyflwynid gwasanaeth bob awr, heb ddolen basio yng Ngharno. Fodd bynnag, yn y cyfarfod cydnabu’r prif ddeisebwr y gallai hyn fod yn anodd. Byddai aros mewn gorsaf yn hwy nag aros mewn dolen basio ac er mwyn gweithredu’r amserlen byddai’n ofynnol i’r trenau fyddai’n aros yng Ngharno beidio aros yng Nghaersws. Mewn geiriau eraill pe cyflwynid y gwasanaeth bob awr, byddai’r trenau yn parhau i aros bob dwy awr yng Nghaersws pe cyflwynid gwasanaeth bob dwy awr yng Ngharno hefyd.Dywedodd Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno wrth y Pwyllgor fod Network Rail a Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru wedi dweud wrthynt na fyddai lleoliad y ddolen yn Nhalerddig yn ei gwneud hi’n haws nac yn anoddach ailagor yr orsaf yng Ngharno. Nid oedd y Gr?p yn credu bod hyn yn wir gan ddadlau mai dim ond drwy leoli’r ddolen yng Ngharno yn hytrach nag yn Nhalerddig y byddai’n bosibl cyflwyno gwasanaeth bob awr ar Reilffordd y Cambrian heb greu unrhyw oedi. Cododd y Gr?p y mater hwn eto yn ei dystiolaeth ychwanegol (gweler Atodiad 3).Dywedodd Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru wrth y Pwyllgor fod cynllun y prosiect i wella’r seilwaith yn caniatáu newidiadau yn y dyfodol, gan gynnwys y posibilrwydd o leoli gorsaf newydd yng Ngharno. Dyma ddywedodd Pennaeth Uned Rheilffyrdd y Cynulliad:“To answer your specific question on what future-proofing we did, it was for a station in the vicinity of between Dyfi and Machynlleth, for an hourly service, and for a station at Carno or any other location on a single line where standards would allow that.”Sylwodd y Pwyllgor fod gwahaniaeth barn rhwng Network Rail, nad oeddynt o blaid unrhyw orsafoedd ychwanegol ar Reilffordd y Cambrian, a Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru, a oedd wedi gofalu bod y gwaith o wella’r seilwaith yn caniatáu newidiadau yn y dyfodol er mwyn medru adeiladu rhai gorsafoedd ychwanegol.Barn y Pwyllgor yw mai ‘rheilffordd gymunedol’ yw Rheilffordd y Cambrian sy’n gwasanaethu cymunedau cefn gwlad Canolbarth Cymru yn ogystal â chreu cysylltiad rhwng arfordir y Gorllewin a Chanolbarth Lloegr.Mae’r Pwyllgor o blaid y syniad o gyflwyno gwasanaeth bob awr ar Reilffordd y Cambrian cyn gynted â phosibl ar ôl cwblhau’r gwaith o wella’r seilwaith ac na ddylai unrhyw orsafoedd newydd amharu ar berfformiad na dibynadwyedd y gwasanaeth hwn.
Mae’r Pwyllgor yn credu y gellid cael gorsaf un platfform yng Ngharno a fyddai’n caniatáu gwasanaeth bob dwyawr heb amharu ar y gwasanaeth yn ei gyfanrwydd. Mae angen ymchwilio mwy i hyn (gweler Argymhelliad 3).Mae’n debyg y byddai’n llawer rhatach adeiladu gorsaf un platfform yng Ngharno na gorsaf dau blatfform, oherwydd mae’n debyg na fyddai angen codi pont droed. Byddai angen i orsaf o’r fath, fodd bynnag, fedru bodloni’r safonau diogelwch presennol a byddai angen cydymffurfio â gofynion y Ddeddf Gwahaniaethu ar sail Anabledd.
 
Casgliadau
Ar ôl pwyso a mesur y dystiolaeth, cytunodd y Pwyllgor i osod ei adroddiad gerbron y Cynulliad. Byddai’r Cadeirydd yn ysgrifennu at y Gweinidog dros yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth yn gofyn iddo ystyried yr adroddiad a rhoi ei argymhellion ar waith. Bydd y Pwyllgor yn gofyn i’r Gweinidog ymateb yn ffurfiol cyn pen 30 diwrnod ar ôl gosod yr adroddiad a bod yn bresennol mewn cyfarfod y bydd y Pwyllgor yn ei gynnal i graffu ar ei ymateb.At hyn, bydd y Pwyllgor yn gofyn am ddatblygu protocol i sicrhau na fydd y Gweinidog yn gwneud unrhyw gyhoeddiad a allai effeithio ar ganlyniad trafodaeth ar ddeiseb gerbron y Cynulliad a, thrwy hynny, danseilio’r broses ddemocrataidd, nes y bydd trafodaethau’r Cynulliad wedi dod i ben.
 
Argymhellion:
Mae’r pwyllgor:
1. Yn croesawu’r penderfyniad i fwrw ymlaen â’r prosiect i wella seilwaith Rheilffordd y Cambrian ac mae’n annog Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru i ddarparu’r cyllid sy’n angenrheidiol i gyflwyno gwasanaeth bob awr ar y rheilffordd cyn gynted â phosibl ar ôl cwblhau’r gwaith o wella’r seilwaith.
2. Yn credu y dylid rhoi lle blaenllaw i ystyriaethau diogelwch wrth ddarparu unrhyw seilwaith rheilffyrdd newydd.
3. Yn gofyn i’r Gweinidog gadarnhau y bydd yn dal yn bosibl adeiladu gorsaf un platfform yng Ngharno ar ôl cwblhau’r prosiect i wella’r seilwaith, a hynny heb amharu’n afresymol ar berfformiad na dibynadwyedd y gwasanaeth bob awr y bwriedir ei gyflwyno ar Reilffordd y Cambrian.
4. Yn gofyn i swyddogion y Gweinidog roi cymorth i Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno i ddatblygu a chyflwyno achos busnes ffurfiol dros orsaf o’r fath.
5. Yn credu bod lleoliad Carno ar y lein rhwng Caersws a Machynlleth, lle nad oes gorsaf am bellter o dros 20 milltir, yn cryfhau’r achos o blaid cael gorsaf newydd yno’n arw.
6. Yn gofyn i Network Rail roi cyngor i Gr?p Gweithredu Gorsaf Carno ynghylch adeiladu gorsaf o’r fath a fyddai’n cyrraedd safonau diogelwch presennol HMRI.
7. Yn gofyn i’r Gweinidog gyhoeddi cyfarwyddyd cyffredinol ynghylch paratoi achosion busnes ar gyfer agor gorsafoedd newydd yng Nghymru, gan gynnwys canllawiau ynghylch y costau posibl.
8. Yn gofyn i’r Gweinidog egluro barn Llywodraeth y Cynulliad yngl?n â rôl Rheilffordd y Cambrian yn y dyfodol – fel gwasanaeth rhyngdrefol neu fel gwasanaeth ar gyfer cymunedau cefn gwlad Canolbarth Cymru.

 

1 System RheoliTraffig Rheilffyrdd Ewrop European Railway Traffic Management System
2 Arolygiaeth Rheilffyrdd Ei Mawrhydi

3 System Rheoli Traffig Rheilffyrdd Ewrop

4 Canllawiau i Brosiectau Buddsoddi mewn Rheilffyrdd – proses 8 cam. Datblygu un opsiwn yw Cam 4  

 

Assembly Committee plans station hearing in Carno

The Enterprise and Learning Committee of the National Assembly met on Wednesday July 11th to discuss the Petition for the Re-opening of Carno Station – referred to them last week by the Petitions Committee. Carno Station Action Group had submitted further written evidence to the committee, including a Cost Benefit Analysis, and members of the committee commented favourably on the quality of the case that had been put before them.

After some discussion, members of the committee decided that the way forward was to visit Carno to see the station site for themselves and to hold a hearing in the village on the re-opening proposal. Representatives of Network Rail, Arriva Trains Wales and the Wales Assembly Government Rail Team are to be invited, together with the petitioners, to assist the commitee in its deliberations.

The Action Group is calling for the existing passing loop at Talerddig to be relocated at Carno as part of the infrastructure improvements for the hourly service, so that trains can stop at the new station without adding to existing journey times. Members of the committee recognised that a decision needs to be taken on passing loop locations quite soon and therefore decided to schedule their Carno visit during the summer recess.

Petitions Committee considers Carno Station

 

PRESS RELEASE

The Petitions Committee of the National Assembly met for the first time on July 4th to agree its own procedures and consider the first three petitions before it. They decided to meet fortnightly and to invite lead petitioners to give up to 15 minutes of oral evidence in support of their petition.

The Carno Station Re-opening petition was the third to be considered, after a petition against the closure of a nursing home in Port Talbot and one in favour of the completion of the Wales Children’s Hospital. The committee gave a favourable reception to the Carno petition, with Mike German and other committee members complimenting the action group on presenting a well-argued case. In her opening remarks, Chairman Val Lloyd alluded to a last minute submission – a photograph of the Talerddig loop and the glorious surrounding countryside – sent to illustrate Talerddig’s remoteness!

After discussion, the committee decided that the petition should be considered by a committee commanding appropriate expertise and referred it to the Economy and Transport Committee.

Carno Station Action Group Chairman Tony Burton commented: “This is an excellent outcome. The group now feels that its aspirations will be given proper consideration at last. Our only anxiety is that the Transport and Economics Committee might not meet to consider our petition in time to influence the passing loop pattern adopted for the Cambrian Line Hourly Service. This decision has to be taken imminently to dovetail with the implementation of the new signalling system – ERTMS. We want the passing loop to be at Carno rather than Talerddig so that trains can stop at Carno station without extending train journey times.”

Notes for editors:

 

  1. The background to the petition is summarised in a letter to the Head of Table Officer at the Assembly, Mr Gareth Thomas, the text of which is reproduced below.
  2. The Case for the Re-opening Carno Station can be downloaded from the CSAG website, http://www.carnostation.org.uk/.

Released   July 5th, 2007

 

******************************

CARNO STATION ACTION GROUP LETTER TO THE HEAD OF TABLE OFFICER AT THE ASSEMBLY

 

Mr Gareth Rogers

Head of the Table Office

National Assembly for Wales

Cardiff Bay

CF99 1NA

June 19th, 2007

Dear Mr Rogers,

Petition: Carno Station Re-opening

Thank you very much for your letter of June 15th formally acknowledging receipt of our petition and setting out what will happen next. I am very glad that you have already informed Dr Brian Gibbons, the relevant Government Minister.

Now that we have handed in our petition, I am uncomfortably aware that we have failed to make clear the thinking behind it, so I would like to put this right as soon as possible. The Welsh Assembly Government will soon be deciding on whether to fund significant changes to the infrastructure of the Cambrian line through Carno in order to make possible the introduction of an hourly service (the current service is every two hours). One of the passing loop patterns that has been recommended by Network Rail (in the GRIP 3 Option Selection Study) involves the relocation of the existing Talerddig passing loop at Carno, thereby saving expenditure on approximately 2 miles of double track at another passing place near Welshpool. Our petition is effectively asking for this passing loop pattern to be chosen by the Assembly, as it would enable a station to be opened at Carno without additional delay to trains and end the existing wasteful practice of stopping trains out in open countryside. At the moment, Carno is situated on the longest stretch of railway line in Wales (22 miles) without an intermediate station!

The Carno Station Action Group, which is a subcommittee of Carno Community Council, has prepared a detailed “Case for Re-opening Carno Station”, and a copy is attached. I would be grateful if you could place it before the Economy and Transport Committee. Committee members might also be interested to know of our website, which is at http://www.carnostation.org.uk/.

A key element of our case is that a new station at Carno could cost under £400,000 rather than the £2 m or £3 m that is often quoted. This is based on the station at Beauly near Inverness, which was opened in 2002 with a platform only 15 m long, and has operated successfully ever since. Given that rail travel is many times safer than travel by road, we believe it is important that sensible new schemes such as Carno Station are not rejected on cost grounds because of the imposition of unrealistically high standards.

It would be much appreciated if you could give us some idea of how soon the Committee is likely to consider the petition. This could be important, because we believe the WAG decision on the investment in the new infrastructure for the hourly service to be imminent.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Burton, Chairman, Carno Station Action Group

Re-opening petition handed in

Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas meets Carno campaigners

A petition to reopen Carno train station in Powys has become one of the first received at the Welsh assembly since it acquired new powers. Campaigners and AMs presented nearly 800 signatures to Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas for consideration on Tuesday June 12th.

The petition is expected to appear on the assembly website and be sent to the transport minister for a response. The campaigners said they were “fairly confident” the new system would help their “tremendously good case” succeed.

Carno Station Action Group chairman Tony Burton said he expected the assembly’s new procedures would help ensure the petition did not simply gather dust. “We think we’ve got a tremendously good case because we’re on the longest stretch of line without a station in the whole of Wales – 22 miles,” he said. “Trains currently stop out in the country at Talerddig to pass each other without taking passengers on or off,” he added.

The group wants the passing loop on the rail network moved to Carno to allow passengers to board. It said Network Rail had indicated the extra cost would be a relatively modest £100,000.

The campaigners believe the station would both help get people out of their cars and boost the economy of an area which has suffered since the closure of the Laura Ashley factory in the village three years ago.

 

‘Way of engaging’

Lord Elis-Thomas is launching a public consultation to help find the best way of making the new petitions system work effectively.

He told the Carno station campaigners that he wanted to ensure “that there is an outcome (from petitions): you don’t just send something”.

Montgomeryshire Liberal Democrat AM Mick Bates said he was very excited by the opportunities the new petitions process could offer. “They can then see what actions the politicians here take about their petition, and that’s brilliant”

“We have a real way of engaging with people in Wales who can now petition the assembly and they can then see what actions the politicians here take about their petition, and that’s brilliant,” he added.

The photograph below shows AM Mick Bates presenting the petition to Lord Elis-Thomas. Click on it to see an enlarged version.

Mick Bates handing over the petition to the Presiding Officer
Mick Bates handing over the petition to the Presiding Officer

 

Petition details

The petition is worded as follows:

We call upon the Welsh Assembly Government to re-open Carno Station and end the wasteful practice of stopping trains outside Talerddig with no passenger benefit.

Yr ydym yn galw ar Lywodraeth Cynnulliad Cymru i ail-agor Gorsaf Reilffordd Carno a dod a’r arfer gwastrafflyd ac anfuddiol i deithwyr o atal trenau y tuallan i Dalerddig i ben

A six person delegation , including the Chairman and Vice Chair of Carno Community Council, travelled from Carno to hand over the 781 signature petition to the Presiding Officer, and Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates was joined by Mid and West Wales AM’s Joyce Davies (Lab) and Alan Davies (Lab).

More photographs of the event

(click on each to enlarge)

"

Lord Elis Thomas with Huw Thomas, Carno CC
Lord Elis Thomas with Huw Thomas, Carno CC

 

Carno delegation with banner. Left to right: Huw Thomas, Dai Jones, David Swan, Tony Burton, Rob Ritchie
Carno delegation with banner.
Left to right: Huw Thomas, Dai Jones, David Swan, Tony Burton, Rob Ritchie

 

 

The AM's and CSAG chairman Left to right: Alun Davies, Mick Bates, Joyce Watson, Tony Burton
The AM’s and CSAG chairman
Left to right: Alun Davies, Mick Bates, Joyce Watson, Tony Burton

 

All Aboard the 1.25 to Shrewsbury!

Carno Station Action Group

PRESS RELEASE

ALL ABOARD THE 1.25 TO SHREWSBURY!

Click on image for enlarged view!

Over 100 prospective passengers at Carno station, April 2007
Over 100 prospective passengers at Carno station, April 2007

Well over a hundred prospective passengers gathered at Carno station last Sunday morning to demonstrate the growing support for the station re-opening campaign. Nearly all trains currently stop at Talerddig to pass each other, but the Carno Station Action Group wants to see the passing place moved from Talerddig to Carno as part of the infrastructure changes for the new hourly service. This would enable the trains to serve the needs of the expanding local community when they stop to pass.

The Action Group has submitted a detailed case for the station re-opening to TraCC, Trafnidiaeth Canolbarth Cymru, the Mid Wales Transport Consortium, which has forwarded it to the Welsh Assembly Government Rail Unit. The report concludes:

  • A re-opened Carno station would be a major benefit for a large, relatively remote village, which has seen and will continue to see significant population growth.
  • The station would facilitate commuting to jobs further afield, including the new Welsh Assembly Government jobs in Aberystwyth, following the Laura Ashley factory closure.
  • The station would promote social inclusion, by providing transport for the old, the young and others without their own car. This would reduce the need for “chauffeuring”.
  • The station would encourage green tourism and expanded use of the community centre as a conference centre.
  • The station would provide crucial environmental benefits by reducing car journeys for work, shopping and leisure purposes.
  • There would be spin-off benefits from reduced congestion in Newtown.
  • Re-opening of the station would be fully consistent with the Wales Spatial Plan
  • The envisaged implementation of infrastructure improvements for the hourly service in conjunction with the installation of the ERTMS signalling system provides a vital opportunity to establish a passing loop at Carno in 2008. This in turn would enable trains to stop at a re-opened Carno station without imposing any time delay on the train service.

 

Ends.
Released April 22nd, 2007

Carno Station Campaign Rejuvenated

Carno Station Action Group

PRESS RELEASE

CARNO STATION CAMPAIGN REJUVENATED

Over 60 Carno residents attended a lively public meeting in Carno on Wednesday April 4th and expressed firm support for the developing campaign to re-open Carno station.

After opening remarks by Alan Humphreys, Clerk to the Community Council, the chairman of the action group, Tony Burton, explained the unique opportunity to eliminate the Talerddig passing loop presented by the planned introduction of an hourly service on the line. All trains currently stop at this remote spot to pass each other, but the Network Rail feasibility study had shown that moving the passing loop to Carno would have negligible cost implications, as it would save 2 miles of new double track near Welshpool, where trains would also have to pass. Moving the loop to Carno would enable trains to serve a new station there without any time penalty to the tightly timed service.

The second speaker was Cllr Gwilym Evans, Chairman of TraCC, Trafnidiaeth Canolbarth Cymru, the recently formed Mid Wales Transport Consortium. Cllr Evans began by explaining TraCC’s role in planning highway and public transport development in Ceredigion, Gwynedd and Powys and described the work they had already done in setting up regular two-hourly bus services on the Brecon – Newtown and Shrewsbury – Llanidloes routes, which interconnect at Newtown. He set out TraCC’s aspirations for the hourly service on the Cambrian line and for improved connections between train and bus services – all of which would help to reduce road traffic growth.

Focussing on Carno station, he said he had been impressed by the strength of the Case for Re-opening submitted by the action group, and confirmed that TraCC will press for Carno’s case to be considered by the Welsh Assembly Government. He added that TraCC backed the repositioning of the existing Talerddig passing loop at Carno.

Mick Bates AM, the third speaker, started by looking at sustainability in relation to transport. The re-opening of Carno station would contribute to sustainability by helping to reduce traffic congestion and reducing CO2 emissions while promoting the local economy. He explained that the next few months were crucial in the campaign, because the Welsh Assembly Government would take a decision on the infrastructure for the hourly service in July or August. He recommended the action group act without delay to

  • send a large petition to the Minister,
  • write to all AM’s in Wales and
  • set up a website

Then the group should send a delegation in May or June to press Carno’s case with the WAG Rail Team in Cardiff.

The meeting ended with a general discussion and a resolution to step up the campaign forthwith.

 

Ends.
Released April 6th, 2007