A GIANT new car park intended to boost rail passengers in Gwent is standing empty with no date for when it will be in use. 

The  £7.2 million scheme to create a vast new 140 space car park at Pontypool and New Inn railway station to turn it into a park and ride facility to enable commuters to easily access Cardiff every day is practically completed – but delays in “signing off” the work mean it is standing empty behind security fencing. 

Torfaen Borough Council, which is responsible for the scheme, which includes a new footbridge so passengers can cross from the new car park to access the existing “island platform” – which is still in use on the Marches Line that connects South Wales and Manchester – is currently subject to safety testing. 

Workmen have already left the site but the new slip roads they’ve created from the A4042 trunk road are blocked off by traffic cones and the new footbridge is standing idle behind secured fencing. 

When the footbridge was installed in March this year it was still expected the facilities would be open this summer, however that failed to materialise. 

Now councillors in Monmouthshire have been told it is likely to be another six months before the 129-space car park – which will have an additional 11 accessible parking bays and 11 electric charging points, a bus bay and cycle storage – and the footbridge will be in use. 

Torfaen council has only said it will be brought into service “as soon as practicably possible”.

Christian Scmidt, passenger transport planning manager for Monmouthshire County Council was asked at its public services scrutiny committee if he could provide any update on the station, which is mostly being funded by the Cardiff Capital Region and Welsh Government. 

Mr Scmidt said: “My understanding is there are issues with the signing off of some work at Pontypool and New Inn, the new bridge and car park, I believe there were some late changes made that now need effectively signing off and the place can’t open until that has been done.” 

Usk independent councillor Meirion Howells, who had asked for the update, then asked: “So almost ready to open?” 

Transport manager Mr Scmidt then said: “I believe it might be some more months, it might be six months effectively the key work has been done.” 

He said Torfaen Borough Council would have to provide further details as it is responsible for the project, which when it was proposed in 2019, was hailed as one of the first South Wales Metro Plus projects.  

The station is intended to open up employment opportunities in Cardiff and Newport to people without cars in Torfaen as well as meaning drivers from Cwmbran, Pontypool and parts of Monmouthshire can avoid adding to the congested routes into both cities