- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce Watson and Rebecca Evans, Labour Mid and West AMs, today welcomed an extension of a concessionary rail scheme in rural Mid and North Wales.
The scheme, which operates on the Conwy Valley Line between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno, will now be open to all free bus pass holders in Wales until March 2015.
Mrs Watson commented:
“I am pleased that the Welsh Government is extending free travel on these lines. It means free bus pass holders in Wales can access public transport wherever they are in the country.
“Investment in sustainable transport boosts tourism, reduces rural isolation and strengthens rural communities – it’s a win, win, win.”
Rebecca Evans said:
“I am delighted that the concessionary rail scheme on rural railways has been extended to all free bus pass holders.
“When I met with the Minister for Transport with rail users from Dwyfor Meirionnydd we made the strong case for the concessionary rail scheme, highlighting how popular it was and noting the importance of the scheme in tackling loneliness and promoting inclusion for older people and disabled people.
“I have only heard good feedback about the concessionary rail scheme, and am pleased that the Welsh Government continues to invest in it.”
The scheme was previously only available to free bus pass holders from the local authorities in which it operated. The Welsh Government has funded the scheme, which operates year round on the Borderlands and Conwy Valley Lines and during the autumn and winter months on the Heart of Wales and Cambrian Coast Lines, since 2007.
There are more than 720,000 concessionary pass holders in Wales, including Armed forced personnel and veterans.
Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, added:
“This popular scheme demonstrates our commitment to providing access to sustainable transport in Wales and is an important service for the elderly and disabled in our rural communities.”