Through Trains Essential for Future of Cambrian Line

Ceredigion’s local Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones has warned that the future Welsh rail franchise must be allowed to continue to operate cross-border services.

Aberystwyth station

The Welsh Government has recently launched a consultation on the future shape of rail services in Wales and the Borders. However the Westminster Government has stated that it intends to retain control of cross-border services, raising the prospect of the new Wales franchise being unable to continue to operate routes such as the successful Aberystwyth to Birmingham International service.

Passengers’ groups such as Railfuture have condemned the UK Government’s threats to prevent the Welsh franchise from operating cross-border routes, arguing that it would be hugely inconvenient for passengers to have to change trains when they crossed the Wales-England border.

Plaid Cymru raised the issue in an Assembly debate last week.

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, said;

"This threat to remove services from the Wales and Borders Franchise when it’s devolved from Westminster to the next Welsh Government has to be taken seriously. Removing services which generate revenue would lead to an increase in subsidy being needed and would be fundamentally against the interests of Welsh rail passengers.

"In the long and successful campaign to increase the frequency of trains along the Cambrian Line to Birmingham, it was investment by the Welsh Government which proved decisive. If the new Welsh franchise were unable to operate to Birmingham, there would have been no incentive to invest and it’s likely that the more frequent service that passengers now enjoy would never have happened.

"The UK Government’s Department for Transport does not apply any such restriction to Scotland. Scottish Ministers are allowed to procure services which go into England. Wales has a very different geography to Scotland but we should be given the same right. Plaid Cymru will continue to keep the pressure up on this issue and looks forward to rail powers being granted to Wales. But we will make sure any deal with disadvantages Wales is exposed and rejected."

Say you're with us

Elin Jones and Ben Lake work for everyone who lives in Ceredigion. Show your support and help them in their work to ensure a better Ceredigion, today.