THE Amman Valley railway line should be reopened to the public, Garnant councillor Kevin Madge has said.

For the last decade the line has been used by freight trains to carry coal from Tairgwaith East Pit. But with the site coming to a close Cllr Madge said he hopes to protect the Amman Valley line.

He is calling on the authorities to conduct a feasibility study with the aim of creating a modern, green passenger railway service.

He said: “The rail bus would connect the Amman and Gwendraeth valleys with Llanelli and Swansea with the potential to reduce transport poverty and bring tourists into our valleys.

“The line was established in 1842 so it is important we preserve it.

“It is essential that a feasibility study be carried out, with the line being mothballed as soon as possible to ensure that any future plans remain affordable to the public.”

Cllr Madge said it would need a 20 year vision to make it work and has called on all political parties to pull together.

“It needs to be a cross-party initiative,” he said.

“This has been on the cards before, but we need to make it the top of the agenda and it needs everyone working together.

“With the current pandemic finances are tight, but we have to look at the bigger picture - it will help create jobs and build better links for future generations. For this valley to survive we need the tourism - we don’t want to be left behind.”