Alarm over the increase in cancelled rail services throughout Mid Wales

Concern over the increase in cancelled and delayed rail services throughout the Mid Wales has been raised today (Wednesday 21st November) in the National Assembly for Wales by local AM, Russell George.

 

Questioning the Welsh Government's Transport Minister on cancelled rail services in Mid Wales, Mr George said: 

“We were promised by the Welsh Government immediate improvements to Welsh rail services as a result of the new franchise. The mood amongst commuters at the moment is that services are actually getting worse.

 

“This is not the “transformational” improvement to services that Wales was promised.

 

“Residents have contacted me to express concern that there was standing room only on a mid-morning train from Caersws to Shrewsbury because the whole train was full, delayed by 20 minutes and with no explanation provided as to why passengers were wedged against doors because the train was so busy.

 

“One morning service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury was cancelled 4 times last week, which affected students traveling to Wrexham and Shrewsbury." 

 

During an exchange in the National Assembly, Mr George questioned Ken Skates AM, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, as to why cancellation rates on a Mid Wales morning service was running at 80% last week, whilst cancellation rates on the Valley Lines ran with less than a 1% cancellation rate.

 

Mr George added:

 

“The difficulties for passengers are greater where infrequent services are cancelled than where services are frequent. It's unacceptable that morning services on the Cambrian line had such a high cancellation rate last week when the Valley Line services were not affected, especially when you consider that there are more frequent bus services in this area.  

 

"While I recognise that bad weather has affected the network, it is clear that rail passengers here in Mid Wales are also justifiably expecting the franchise to deliver improved value for money and put right the shortcomings in services that have afflicted rail users in Mid Wales for years.

 

“They are certainly not expecting a worse service and it is vital that we see rapid and significant improvements here in Powys on the both the Cambrian and Heart of Wales lines with immediate effect.”