- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Feature, Media
Local Assembly Member Joyce Watson is urging people to have their say on the future of rail services in mid and west Wales.
Mrs Watson is a member of the National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business committee which has begun a public consultation for an inquiry on the future of the Wales and Boarders rail franchise.
Mrs Watson said:
“There is a huge amount of public interest in the future of rail services in mid and west Wales. Nearly a thousand people have signed an online petition to reopen the line between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, to close the big loophole in the Welsh network. The spectacular Cambrian coast routes have seen a significant rise in passenger numbers in recent years – capacity has to keep pace with that demand. The extra services between Carmarthen and Fishguard, the opening of Goodwick station and the doubling of the line between Gowerton and Llanelli have transformed rail travel in south west Wales. How could it be further improved in future?
“Welsh Labour pledged in our manifesto that we would consider a rail franchise run on a not-for-dividend basis; a social enterprise model like the water company Glas Cymru, which would see profits reinvested in services, rather than going to shareholders.
….“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for people to have their say on the future of the railways. We want to hear from people who use the trains, but we are also keen to take on board the views of those for whom the current system does not work.”
The new Wales and Boarders rail franchise will begin in 2018. The inquiry consultation will examine whether the current franchise, which was awarded to Arriva Trains Wales in 2003, meets passengers’ needs and what lessons should be learnt from it. It will also look at how the new franchise could improve passenger experience. The committee will consider routes, service levels and rolling stock, and how passengers, communities and local government should be involved in development and delivery.
You can send an electronic copy of your evidence submission to [email protected]
Or you can write to :
Dr Siân Phipps
Clerk, Enterprise and Business Committee
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay, CF99 1NA
Submissions should arrive by Friday 13 September 2013 and should preferably be no longer than four pages of A4, have numbered paragraphs and in a word format. It may not be possible to take into account responses received after this date.