Goodwick Station has been demolished. All that remains of the historic building, the original terminus of the Fishguard railway, after a day under the wrecking bars, is a pile of rubble.
“It was a timber building – it came down very easily” one of the demolition crew told Fishguard Trains. “The only building we’re told to leave standing is the brick shed. I don’t know why”.
Demolition took advantage of one of the last weekdays without trains passing just feet away (other than the lunchtime boat train). In just over two weeks time, all work will have to be fitted between 14 trains daily. Work like building a replacement station, for example: because the demolition of the old station does not mean that the new station has received its go-ahead. The historic building was dangerous, “one big wind” could have blown it on to the track. It was declared beyond rescue. Now Pembrokeshire County Council is answerable to the Welsh Government for building a replacement station to a design consistent with its historic predecessor and its location in the Goodwick Conservation Area.
Right now we still wait for news that the County has found money at least for a temporary halt to serve the new rail service. The site is central to the twin towns, it has splendid car park and bus interchange potential, and that brick shed is ideal for a ticket office and station buffet.
We are also waiting for proof that Arriva, Pembrokeshire County Council and Richards Brothers are talking to each other about making the buses meet the trains. Fishguard Trains was dismayed to learn last week that Richard Brothers had had no approaches from the County about the imminent train service and its implications for bus routes and times. We were even less impressed to learn that the only planned change was to cut the County subsidy for the evening 410 Fishguard Town service – buses which could have met the incoming evening trains.
So we asked the Integrated Transport Division at Welsh Government if they were content with this situation? “Will you ensure that the parties coordinate their planning as a matter of urgency, to ensure the service is given the best chance of succeeding, and public money is well spent?”
We’re pleased to report that this week, Pembrokeshire County Council and Richards Brothers are finally talking to each other. And Welsh Government tells us “We’re not indifferent. The accountability lies with Pembrokeshire County Council”.
Fishguard Trains will continue to press for all transport authorities and providers to cooperate to deliver an integrated public transport service for Fishguard and north Pembrokeshire.