Blanket response from Transport for Wales not good enough

By Mick O'Reilly   |   Editor   |
Saturday 30th July 2022 5:30 am
@CambrianMick
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Too many passengers and too small trains have dogged the Cambrian line service this summer — and then some
Too many passengers and too small trains have dogged the Cambrian line service this summer — and then some (Cambrian News )

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It seems as if the folks at Transport for Wales do take notice when this column points out the errors of their ways.

Two weeks ago, I cited TfW for failing to respond to four telephone messages and three emails asking for comment. Seems I hit a nerve.

The head of media relations asked me to include the following statement: “TfW is working to transform transport across the Wales and Borders network and our £800 million investment into new trains will improve capacity and allow us to offer more services. We’re aware of capacity issues on certain parts of our network and we also understand that demand in some locations is above pre-Covid levels and therefore we are working hard to introduce our new trains as quickly and safely as possible.”

So that’s the record put straight for two weeks ago.

Then last week, when this column highlighted the chaos on another journey, there was another response.

Here it is: “TfW is working to transform transport across the Wales and Borders network and our £800 million investment into new trains will improve capacity and allow us to offer more services. We’re aware of capacity issues on certain parts of our network and we also understand that demand in some locations is above pre-Covid levels and therefore we are working hard to introduce our new trains as quickly and safely as possible.”

There are no prizes for spotting the difference. Clearly, it’s a standard answer. By simply repeating it, it shows TfW really don’t care about those who are affected by its abysmal services.

It seems as if they treat all us with contempt, rattling off geek speak when passengers endure nightmare journeys on TfW trains.

The reports of terrible journeys are coming into my email almost daily — please keep them coming — and for those who have complained, there is either no response from TfW or its response amounts to the tinned paragraph and platitude as issued above.

It’s not good enough.

On the hottest day of the year last week, when Network Rail advised customers NOT to use train services, this writer noticed that TfW actually put a four-carriage train on the Cambrian Line.

That move seems to defy logic. Even more so when the trains on the line are usually two-carriage trains, overcrowded and without air conditioning.

While TfW have now at least taken to issuing their standard response to the issues raised in this column over the past few weeks, not a word has been issued by any of our Members of Parliament or Members of the Senedd.

Clearly, they don’t use trains to travel to Cardiff or London. If they did, they’d have a lot to say about the poor level of service endured by us mere mortals.

Travel safe!

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