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Transport plan stuck at red.

Byline: Tony Trainor

PLANS to improve public transport links are progressing at a snail's pace in the town with the fewest car owners in Wa

es .

Wrangling over the disposal of land for retail development has delayed plans to deliver a long-awaited integrated public transport facility in Merthyr Tydf i

..TEXT: For more than a month, a lack of car parking space in the town centre has hit workers and shoppers and a convenient public transport terminus could help relieve traffic congestion.

More than 500 parking spaces were lost when the site of the former central railway station was reserved for a Tesco store and shopping arcade, now under construction. According to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council's annual progress report on its local transport plan, the delay in providing a transport facility is blamed on ``protracted and ongoing discussions'' with the developers of the Tesco site.

The facility would incorporate a railway station, new bus bays and a taxi rank at the southern end of Station Yard, but it is not expected to be completed until next year. Similarly, there has been little progress by South Wales Integrated Fast Transit, the ``Swift'' consortium of local authorities and transport operators, in developing a separate park-and-ride facility at Pentrebach Railway Station near the Hoover factory.

The local authority is considering acquiring the necessary land by compulsory purchase after the price demanded by the landowner was described as ``excessive''.

Plans to increase the frequency of rail services between Merthyr and Cardiff are also on hold.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 14, 2003
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