In 2012 a small group of local people got together to discuss whether the case for a new railway station to serve the adjacent villages of Magor and Undy, in South Monmouthshire, could be developed . Both villages had a station on the main South Wales line at one time but both were closed under the 'Dr Beaching cuts' in 1964. Since then the villages have grown significantly and there is now substantial evidence to suggest that a station is viable.
In 2013 the Magor Action Group On Rail (MAGOR) was formally inaugurated. The group has over 200 individual members, supported by many local businesses and has Lord Mike German as its Honorary President. The project is backed by Monmouthshire County Council, our local MP, Jessica Morden and our Welsh Assembly Member, John Griffiths. With a population of around 7000 in Magor and Undy, largely within a 15 minute walk or cycle-ride of the preferred site, the unique selling point of this project is that could be a 'Walkway' (rather than a parkway) station which would fit well with the Active travel (Wales) Act 2013.
Through 2013 the group has worked hard to raise its profile and to bring in enough money to start a 'fighting fund'. It has run prize draws, engaged with the local schools, sold its limited edition 'Maggy and George' fridge-magnets, lobbied the rail industry and Welsh Government and had a number of articles in the local press. All of this has been recorded and promoted via our website, http://magorstation.co.uk/
In 2014 - we documented a number of key objectives for the year, for example -
We needed to be be sure that we had influenced the rail industry and Welsh Government that MAGOR meant business!
Two particular successes in this area, as a result of lobbying were -
- Network Rail has confirmed that the The South Wales Main Line Electrification Project does include the local 'relief lines' in its plans - this was a critical dependency in our plans
- The Welsh Government's City-Region Metro project has since recognised the potential of the 'relief lines' and has now identified, in its 'impact study', a light railway station at Magor as a long term aim
However our major objective in 2014/15, to build on the earlier work, was to raise sufficient funds to initiate the mandatory feasibility study (known as GRIP 1/2 - Governance in Rail Industry Projects). We know this piece of work will cost in the region of £40,000 but we are quietly confident that if we can raise half of it then we can secure the remainder through 'match funding' from various bodies (e.g local authority).
Very recently we carried out a random mini-survey of people (100) in and around the two villages. We wanted to be sure that we had full support for the campaign and what level of use the local people would make of a new station. We were absolutely delighted to confirm what we believed that 98% of people questioned were fully supportive of the campaign and that 90% thought that they would be using the station. You can see the full report here. With this level of support and your help we can turn the aspiration of a new station into a reality for current and future generations.
N.B. It should be noted that we are raising money for the feasibility study only. If successful the building of the station will rely on the normal funding process involving UK/Welsh Governments and Network Rail. In the unlikely event of us not being able to commission the GRIP1/2 feasibility study within 2 years of this project we will donate the money collected split between the local Community Centre project and to the Railway Benefit Fund (the national charity for the UK Rail Industry)
Thank you for supporting this initiative.