Siân Gwenllian, AM, has raised her concerns about the standard of train services provided by Arriva in North Wales.
She said: “I have been contacted by many passengers about their concerns over recent months. I am a regular traveller and customer of Arriva Trains Wales myself, using the train station at Bangor for journeys to Cardiff and elsewhere. I share the mounting frustration of passengers at the standard of service we are currently being provided with in north Wales.”
“The issue is not just with how regularly trains run throughout the region, but also with the standard of service and the carriages that are used. This is through no fault of the staff, who have to work in unacceptable conditions. The carriages are often dirty, hot and overfull.”
Siân Gwenllian draws comparison with the rail services provided in France and the Netherlands, Australia and Japan, she believes that if the services were fully devolved to Wales, as they are in Northern Ireland and Scotland, Wales would then receive extra funding through the Barnet Formula, she said: “Because the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour Party blocked the devolution of Network Rail as part of the 2015 St David’s Day agreement, Wales will lose out on up to £4bn. Just imagine the changes £4bn would have to the Welsh economy and transport infrastructure.”
The Welsh labour government will announce within in the next year who will be running the next rail franchise, which is currently run by Arriva. There are four private companies currently bidding for the franchise, but no public body, which means that train services in Wales will remain privatised for decades to come.
Siân Gwenllian concluded: “This is a matter that we in Plaid Cymru will continue to challenge the Welsh Labour Government about over the coming months, in order to make sure Wales will be provided with the rail service we deserve.”