The track is now relaid close to the platform at Goodwick. Pembrokeshire County Council are working to complete and reopen the station in March 2012. So what’s left to be done, and what happens next?
As the picture shows, the rail track is back where it belongs, after Network Rail relaid it on November 15/16 – see the Fishguard Trains video and picture report here.
Network Rail still has to return for some minor works on the platform – tidying and pointing, and checking that the surface meets today’s standards.
But the very next job is to remove the huge stone pile, left from track relaying works.
Once that’s gone, Pembrokeshire CC’s contractors can go in and resurface the car park. The lack of car parking at Fishguard Harbour Station always made that a hopeless terminus for a local service. So the station car park will not only make our trains accessible to the twin towns, but to the whole of North Pembrokeshire.
What about the brick building, the last undemolished part of old Goodwick station? Fishguard Trains was told this week that it has to be re-roofed, but beyond that there are no plans to use it at present. That seems like a fine opportunity – but for what? Presumably there will be a simple shelter on the platform, and eventually Pembrokeshire CC will be required (in law) to build a proper replacement for the original station building – as part of the conservation area. So the brick building is waiting for a new role. Any suggestions?
Fishguard Trains asked Pembrokeshire CC if the car park will also provide a bus interchange? Apparently not, is the answer. Buses will instead stop outside the station. We look forward with interest to learning how this will be managed, using the present lay-by.
No less than five bus routes can and should stop at Goodwick Station – the 410 town bus of course, but also the 413 Fishguard-St Davids. the 404 Strumble Shuttle and 405 Poppit Rocket (extended down from its present terminus at Fishguard Square), and above all the 412 Cardigan to Haverforwest service.
This is not a detail. Welsh Government is committed to an integrated transport policy, but public transport in and around Fishguard is anything but integrated. Reopening the town’s station is a critical opportunity to bring together all the different bus and rail services. Only then will the whole of North Pembrokeshire benefit from the public money that is going into the rail service. And only then will we have a decent alternative to our cars.