It is nearly 6 months since an extra 14 CrossCountry trains have been stopping at Chepstow providing the town with additional faster services to and from Cardiff, Newport, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Birmingham.
It is evident that these extra trains are being used by a steadily increasing number of people attracted to use the trains in preference to cars. In particular for journeys to and from Cardiff the primary destination for rail passengers from Chepstow.
At the start of the new services the predominant use was towards Cardiff but as the word has spread and publicity of the improvements and the advantages of using the trains have been promoted and advertised the numbers using the services to and from Birmingham has also substantially improved.
Another area where the benefits of the extra services are evident is in connection with large scale sporting and entertainment events in Cardiff and at Chepstow.
Jim Jenkins, Chair of Better Trains for Chepstow, commented that "Last Saturday, for instance, I was at Chepstow to see racegoers pouring off the trains from both directions. Many came early and spent time in the town before the afternoon meeting.
A welcome boost for the town’s trade as well as cutting road congestion!
A few weeks ago the demand to get to Cardiff for a rugby match was so great that prospective rail passengers could not get on the limited number of trains. Despite the welcome service improvement there remains a need to regularise services throughout the day and to adequately cover the morning peak."
"The extra services are already benefitting the community and helping to alleviate road congestion and we believe that it is in the public interest to continue with this trial beyond the 12 months that was originally proposed. Furthermore we believe that it should be extended so that all these trains stop, it would cost no more. The experiment has already demonstrated that stopping the services at Chepstow is perfectly feasible and obviously attracting more people to use our rail services."