PLAID CYMRU Penarth is calling for a new railway halt at Cogan to serve passengers travelling between Penarth and Cardiff.
The old Cogan Station on the Penarth-Cardiff route, on the Tesco side of the railway line behind Penarth Motors, was closed in 1968 when the Penarth line was reduced to a single track following the infamous Beeching Axe.
At that time, the area around the old Penarth Docks was marred by decline and dereliction. Since the 1980s, however, the area has experienced huge regeneration with the construction of Penarth Marina and the International Sports Village, which is linked to Cogan by the pedestrian bridge, Pont y Werin.
Penarth’s largest supermarket, Tesco, and Penarth Leisure Centre are also in the immediate area.
Pressure on the existing Cogan Station, which serves the Barry line, is set to increase with plans for nearly 900 new homes at the Cardiff Pointe development, near the Sports Village.
The only trains to stop at Cogan currently are trains on the line between Barry and Cardiff.
With the regeneration of the Barry Docks and Council plans to allow new housing estates on the Vale’s green fields, trains from Barry may in future be too full to pick up passengers at Cogan during peak times.
Plaid Cymru say that a reinstated platform on the Penarth line, which was previously known as Penarth Docks, would not just improve the connection between Penarth and Cardiff but also enable travellers to transfer from the Penarth line to the line for Barry, Bridgend and the airport.
Plaid Cymru local campaigner, Dave Wilton, said: “Windsor Road through Cogan currently forms a notorious congestion and pollution blackspot, and all options must be considered to provide alternative modes of transport in and out of Penarth.
“We believe that the reopening of a platform would greatly reduce this congestion and pollution, and our proposal forms a key part of our vision for sustainable transport in a rapidly developing Penarth.
“This would not only increase the availability of trains for Cogan residents but also provide the pleasant option of travelling on the under-capacity Penarth line, compared to the ‘sardines in a tin’ option each day on the Barry-Cardiff line at peak times. And it is sometimes impossible to get on at Cogan at all because of overcrowding.
“With more commuters from the Cogan area using the Penarth line, there would be less crowded and more comfortable journeys for those travelling on the Barry line.”
Mr Wilton added it was a practical suggestion as there was room for a new platform.
“We are not calling for the old station to be reopened,” he said. “The attractive Victorian station buildings still exist, but are now in private business use.
“These buildings aren’t required for a single-platform unstaffed halt similar to the halt at Dingle Road.
“A survey by a railway engineer is needed to investigate options, such as siting a platform on the land behind the old station building or on the Tesco side of the track.
“Another option for surveyors to consider is widening or extending the triangular wedge of land between the Barry and Penarth lines. Access to the new platform and the ease of changing to the Barry line is the key to success.”