It is time for action, not excuses, over rail in Wales

Russell George AM, the Shadow Transport Minister, has berated Ken Skates for failing to take action over problems with rolling stock in Wales, and has called on him to “… deliver action and a fully-functioning rail service, not excuses”.

In letter today (December 20) to all Assembly Members, the Minister for Transport made yet more excuses for the lack of carriages accessible for people with reduced mobility (PRM) on Transport for Wales (TfW) services.

The Transport Minister was forced to ask the UK Government for dispensation allowing it to miss its obligations towards PRM.

Mr George said:

“We believe that the Welsh Government should develop and publish a rolling stock strategy as a matter of urgency, not only to ensure pressing decisions on rolling stock compatibility for electrification and accessibility legislation are taken in good time to avoid the increased cost and disruption associated with delay, but also to enhance the future capacity and quality of trains for the long-term".

“The Welsh Government’s failure to take appropriate action to address the issues highlighted as long ago as 2013 in relation to rolling stock, including obligations to meet the persons with reduced mobility (PRM) compliance deadline in relation to its rolling stock, is a shocking dereliction of duty.

“Welsh Government, and it’s a Labour administration, has been delaying and dithering over its rail policies for some 13 years. Day in, day out, many passengers using TfW services experience cancellations, postponement, and other delays. Commuters, learners, and tourists all have a nagging doubt before each journey as to whether their train will arrive, and whether there will be room to sit.”

Mr George called on the Transport Minister to find solutions to “… the problems that have beset rail transport for so long under this failing Welsh Labour Government.”