A £9.7 MILLION plan to upgrade Port Talbot railway station has been announced by the Assembly Government.
It was named last year in a report criticising stations in Wales not fully accessible to disabled people.
Plans include a new enclosed footbridge with lifts providing step-free access to the island platform. Campaigners have criticised the existing facilities, saying they have to give 24 hours’ notice so arrangements can be made for them to reach the central platform.
The project also calls for a new ticket office and waiting areas, as well as a cafe and retail area, new toilets, and improvements to customer information and CCTV.
It incorporates a 200-space car park with a park and ride for commuters, along with improved facilities for cyclists, bus passengers and taxis.
Work is expected to take around 18 months.
Aberavon MP Hywel Francis said: “This is the culmination of a broad campaign involving disability and community groups, the Labour Party and, very importantly, Neath Port Talbot Council.
“I am delighted that the people of Port Talbot and the whole of South West Wales will now benefit from easier access to a station fit for the 21st Century.”
Aberavon AM David Rees added: “This investment, over 30 per cent higher than the original figure of £7.1 million, will ensure the station can meet 21st century standards.
“For the last year I have been lobbying the Welsh Government for a modern railway station with facilities for all groups, and I am delighted that the people of Port Talbot will finally have a station that they can enjoy and be proud of.
“The upgraded station will be easily accessible, will be family and disabled-friendly, and will also provide a modern and attractive facility for residents and visitors.”