Aberystwyth-Shrewsbury line ‘no better than a cattle truck’

Ceredigion MP questions Transport for Wales boss on rail services in mid-Wales

Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion, Ben Lake, has described the Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury service as “no better than a cattle truck” during a questioning session with the Transport for Wales (TfW) chief executive, James Price.

During a session of the Welsh Affairs Committee in Westminster, Ben Lake asked James Price if he was confident a plan for hourly services between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury by March 2024 could be achieved.

In response, Mr Price said that increased capacity on the service will happen “gradually” and that “by the end of the year” there will be “significantly improved capacity everywhere”.

Mr Price acknowledged that certain future plans might be delayed due to factors like train availability and Network Rail's capabilities. He mentioned that a review of their timetables in light of Covid would be conducted during the summer.

Speaking during the Welsh Affairs Committee session, Ben Lake MP said:

“Specifically on the Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury line, are there particular issues and pieces of work on that line being done to improve the reliability of the service? Also the capacity is a common complaint I have received.”

“I have experienced this myself, especially when changing at Shrewsbury you might have been on another service, and people are then loaded on to what is no better than a cattle truck from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth. We have heard lots of promises about new rolling stock that don’t appear to have materialised on the mid Wales section of the Wales and borders franchise.”

James Price responded: “So, the new rolling stock is still happening, and there is even more rolling stock than we originally talked about. Figures on that include 67% more carriages in service after we have completed all the transformation, than today.”

Ben Lake: "To bring it back to Aberystwyth, when do you anticipate an improvement in the service, when can we expect the hourly service? When can we expect the higher capacity new trains?"

James Price: "On the hourly service I want to write to you on that and will do that quickly. On how quickly things will improve, in general across Wales the answer is that things will improve quickly, and things have already improved quite significantly from 4 weeks ago, and certainly from 6 weeks ago."

Ben Lake: “At the risk of sounding like a broken record. When do you expect the Aberystwyth – Shrewsbury services to increase in capacity?”

James Price: “That will gradually happen, I will be presenting to our main board tomorrow which will show by the end of the year, we will have significantly improved capacity everywhere.”

Showing 1 reaction

  • Carys Lloyd
    published this page in News 2023-07-25 09:42:41 +0100

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