Watchdog calls for action to improve Transport for Wales rail services

26 April 2023

Transport Focus has challenged Transport for Wales to urgently deliver a more reliable rail service after months of disruption for passengers. 

With little sign of improvement for passengers, we have written to Transport for Wales calling for action to ensure services are improved for passengers as soon as possible. 

Passengers have faced months of disruption with services cancelled at short notice, short stopping of services and in some cases rail replacement services. This has resulted in significant overcrowding on popular routes, uncomfortable journeys, and delays in dealing with passenger complaints. 

David Sidebottom, director at the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: 

“Passengers need services which are reliable and that they can depend on. Transport for Wales needs to take urgent action to get more trains moving and deliver certainty for its passengers. 

“At a time when people are being encouraged to use public transport, this situation is untenable. Transport for Wales needs to put a robust plan in place outlining how they will restore services and get things back on track for passengers.”  

Over the past few months, Transport for Wales has seen major operational issues caused by some of its trains which have had a detrimental effect on passengers. Some trains are out of service for essential repairs and others on the Cardiff to Holyhead and Cardiff to Manchester routes have been wholly unreliable. 

In Transport Focus’s latest survey, passengers rated Transport for Wales in joint bottom place for overall satisfaction (alongside TransPennine Express). 69 per cent of passengers were satisfied with how punctual their journey was. 

Transport for Wales also recorded significantly more cancellations than other major operators, with 12 per cent of trains cancelled in March according to the Office of Rail and Road. 

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