Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith held a protest at Bangor station this morning over their concerns about the lack of Welsh language services on the national rail network.
The group were targeting stations across Wales, including Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea and Aberystwyth, after receiving a number of complaints about the new train franchise Transport for Wales.
The concerns include:
- English only audio announcements on trains and some stations
- No Welsh language ticket -buying service on the website
- Self services machines that don’t work properly in Welsh
- Some English only electronic signs
- English only ticket buying app
- Lack of Welsh language face-to-face services
- English only emails sent to customers
- English only train tickets.
A spokesperson for the group said: “Wales has a new railway service run by Transport for Wales and KeolisAmey. There were big expectations for the new service, but there’s just disappointment up to now.
“Transport for Wales is part of the Welsh Government, meaning they have a legal duty to provide their services in Welsh, but there are basic Welsh language services missing.
“As a new railway service for Wales these services should have been in Welsh from the start. It’s time to get Transport for Wales back on the rails – a proper service for our communities supplied in Welsh.
Transport for Wales has said it is “fully committed” to the Welsh language.
A spokesperson for Transport for Wales Rail Services, said: “We have an agreed and funded plan over the next 12 months to roll out more and better Welsh language provision for the benefit of our customers.
“We completely agree that our customers should be able access services in the Welsh language, so we are working with industry partners to find an answer where the technology and systems haven’t caught up.
“Please bear with us while we do our very best to put accurate Welsh language in place as soon possible.”
Transport for Wales – KeolisAmey – Officially took over the Wales and Borders rail service from Arriva Trains Wales on 14th October, 2018, promising a £5 Billion investment that will transform rail services in Wales.