Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth has labelled the delays and problems experienced by rail passengers since the beginning of Transport for Wales’s (TFW) tenure as Welsh Government’s new rail franchise as simply unacceptable.
Transport for Wales has publically apologised to customers this week for the numbers of services which have been cancelled or delayed since it took over a month ago.
In a topical question to Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Spokesperson for Economy and Finance Mr ap Iorwerth urged the Labour AM to give passengers assurances that the new franchise would live up to expectations.
Mr ap Iorwerth said:
“The First Minister was hugely defensive when criticism was put to him of the situation on Wales’s railways, when many thousands of passengers have suffered, failing to get to work or failing to get home from work.
“The delays and problems passengers have faced in the last few weeks under the new franchise are simply unacceptable, and for the First Minister to say yesterday ‘we didn’t promise to transform rail in a month’ – no, you didn’t but we weren’t criticising Government for that, but the point is that things have gone backwards at quite an alarming rate in the last few weeks.
“It is not too much to expect Welsh Government to be a little bit contrite and hold its hands up and say ‘ok, sorry, things haven’t gone as well as they can.’
“I support Transport for Wales in principal because we all want better rail services, but people want a better service and were looking forward to the start of a new chapter – Welsh Government needs to give those assurances that this franchise will live up to what was promised.”