Transport User Voice – You and your train company August 2017
31 July 2017
Wales and Borders
Transport Focus presented our latest research into passengers’ experiences and aspirations for the new Wales and Borders rail service at a recent meeting of the Welsh Government’s cross-border rail group. As well as Welsh Government officials, the group includes Transport for Greater Manchester, Merseytravel and Transport for West Midlands, as well as county authorities and Community Rail Partnerships.
Following the meeting, Welsh Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates announced that five additional four-carriage trains would be introduced in 2018, funded jointly by the Welsh Government and Arriva Trains Wales. The additional trains will allow for works to make existing carriages more accessible, and will increase capacity on busy routes. The extra trains will also provide opportunities for the new franchisee to deliver improvements early in the new Wales and Borders rail services contract.
Responding to the announcement, chief executive of Transport Focus, Anthony Smith, said:
“Passengers will welcome the prospect of extra trains, overcrowding has become a daily struggle for many passengers. In our latest research passengers told us their top priority for improvement was getting a seat on the train.
“Significant, sustained, long-term investment in the next Wales and Borders franchise must continue to reduce overcrowding and ensure passengers’ top priorities are delivered.”
East Midlands – look out for consultation events
The Department for Transport has launched a consultation on the next franchise, which closes on 11 October 2017. There will be a number of public and stakeholder events to be held across the region. The consultation document can be found here. Look out for the schedule of events in August and September on this page on the Department for Transport’s website.
But what do we know about passengers’ experiences of using the East Midlands network and their hopes for its future? The results of our passenger research will be publishing in the coming months.