Letter: Long wait for a train

Sir: The only good thing about the article "Station with only two passengers points way to cull of branch lines" (1 May) was the picture, which hopefully will attract a few more visitors to join the many who already make use of the Heart of Wales line. I doubt that the closure of Sugar Loaf Halt would make a difference one way or another to the profits of the rail operators.

However, a line like the Heart of Wales exists for the communities it passes through, not just for visitors, welcome though tourism is.

My local station is the next up from Sugar Loaf Halt, at the busy little town of Llanwrtyd Wells. I work in the county town of Powys, Llandrindod Wells, half an hour up the line, within sight of the station there. However, like many others, I am unable to commute by rail - the first train goes up the line from here at 06.39 and the next is not until 10.55. Similarly, I would either have to leave work at half past two or wait until seven at night.

So, like many others who live and work in the area, I am forced to commute by car (no bus either). If like many of the low-waged workers in this area, you can't afford to run a car, your job opportunities are severely limited. Similarly, with only four trains a day each way, if you need to shop or visit the dentist or local hospital, you have just as many problems.

We need a properly integrated and supported transport system in rural areas just much as urban ones.

KATE JONES

Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys

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