INDUSTRY recognition for a community group could provide a significant boost for its hopes of seeing a new mainline rail station developed. 

That’s the view of Ted Hand who was one of the founder members of MAGOR, which stands for Magor Action Group on Rail, and which wants to open a railway station to serve Magor with Undy. 

If developed it’s thought it would be the first walkway station – where people walk or cycle rather than drive and park to use it – opened on a mainline in 100 years. 

It was estimated that before the pandemic around 40,000 rail journeys a year were made from Severn Tunnel Junction by people from Magor and Undy, resulting in around 80,000 car journeys, there and back.   

As Severn Tunnel Junction is two and a half miles away it could save 200,000 road miles a year and the proposed station site is adjacent to bus routes and within a 15 minute walk or cycle ride from anywhere in the village. 

Railfuture, the UK’s leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services, awarded the group a commendation in the best campaign category at its Rail User Group Awards, as well as a commendation in the best website category. 

Retired railway man Mr Hand, who formed the group in 2012, said he hoped the commendations would lead to more recognition across the UK for the project which its claimed can be transformative as regards public transport. 

He said: “Absolutely. What we’re trying to do is get this in the rail press and national outlets, all the coverage has previously been in south east Wales or on Welsh television. 

“As we know climate change is the flavour of the month, the year and the century. This is something people can see is different and we believe is the future.” 

Mr Hand, who worked as a sales manager for British Rail and Great Western Railway, said the station could have the same impact at Bristol Parkway which opened in 1972 and was the first ‘park and ride station’. 

“John Pallet was a railway man and he proposed it to get people off the M4 and they all thought he was crazy, but this is the same thing.” 

The campaign wants the station to be prioritised among a potential six new stations proposed as part of the Burns Review – intended to find solutions to congestion clogging up the M4 – but there is uncertainty over funding. 

Newport East Labour MP Jessica Morden had arranged a meeting with Westminster transport minister Wendy Morton which didn’t take place following the mass resignations from Boris Johnson’s government while MAGOR members were due to meet Monmouth MP, and Welsh Office minister, David Davies last week. That however couldn’t take place due to the mini budget statement.