- February 5, 2016
- Posted by: Carwyn Jones AM
- Category: Gazette Column
Commuters in Wales and others who have an interest in shaping the future direction of rail services in Wales have been invited to participate in a new consultation launched by the Assembly’s Transport Minister Edwina Hart AM. Currently, the UK Government has the responsibility over the Wales and Borders Franchise but the responsibility to award the new franchise to run the Wales and Borders service due in 2018, will be devolved to the Welsh Government in 2017, therefore, it is important for people to engage with this consultation. The majority of rail services in Wales are provided under the Wales and Borders franchise. Arriva Trains Wales won the contract for the franchise in 2003. This will end in 2018.
In particular, the Welsh Government is interested in hearing people’s views on what they would like to see from the next rail franchise for Wales and their views on how services and capacity, performance, fares and ticketing and rolling stock could all be improved under the new franchise agreement. We all want to see faster journey times, less overcrowding on trains, cheaper fares and more trains that arrive on time. With decisions on rail services set to come to Wales next year, the feedback will be used to shape future services in Wales through the next franchise. I would urge all those who have an interest in our railways to make their views known.
The consultation closes on the 18th March 2016 and after the Assembly elections in May, a report will be published outlining views expressed.