- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
The Welsh Government is in talks with Arriva Trains and bus operators, ahead of the introduction in May of additional Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury train services, transport minister Edwina Hart has revealed.
From May, four additional peak hourly trains will operate between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury, Mondays – Saturdays, with hourly services for peak morning and afternoon times. There will also be two new return Sunday services and an improvement to evening services on the Cambrian Coast between Barmouth and Pwllheli.
At Assembly Question Time on Wednesday (11 February), Assembly member Joyce Watson quizzed the minister about the new timetable.
The Labour Mid and West AM said:
“The extra service will be a boon for the region, as has already been said, for commuters, tourists, businesses, university students—everybody—but I expect, Minister, that you’ve read the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth rail liaison committee’s proposed franchise document. One of the issues that it highlights is the need for good bus integration with the trains. Have you discussed this with bus operators along the route ahead of the introduction of the additional service in May?”
The minister confirmed to Mrs Watson that government officials would seek to integrate bus and train services.
Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edina Hart AM said:
“I’ve asked officials to work with local authorities and bus operators to maximise the opportunities to better integrate local bus and longer-distance, Welsh Government-funded TrawsCymru bus services with the improved rail services.”
The minister commented on the new Shrewsbury to Euston service and services between Shrewsbury and Birmingham International. Asked when the new timetable would be published, she confirmed that her department is still in talks with Arriva Trains and ‘concerned’ stakeholders:
“We’ve obviously received the proposals from Arriva Trains, and they include significant changes and very considerable concerns from stakeholders. We are still working through this. I will advise the Members as soon as the timetables are available.”
The upgraded Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury service will operate from May for a tree-year trial period, creating 20 new train crew and depot jobs.