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Concerns raised over organisation's role in rail contract

Created on 24/05/2018 @ 13:48
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Concerns have been raised over the involvement of a government body in the award of the rail contract that will cover the Camrbian Railway.

MyNewtown reported yesterday how KeolisAmey, a joint venture between French and Spanish companies had been awarded the Wales and Border rail franchise which includes the railway through Newtown and Caersws.

Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George, who is also the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Transport, has highlighted concerns over the role of Transport for Wales in the process to award the new rail franchise in Wales.
The contract to run Wales' rail service for the next 15 years.

Responding to the announcement, Mr George said: “The announcement of a new rail franchise is a significant moment for Wales and passengers will be expecting a truly 21st century rail service that puts commuters first.
“However, significant concerns remain over the role of Transport for Wales (TFW) in the award of this contract.
“TFW has been the key advisory body to the Welsh Government in this franchise process, and this is particularly worrying given the damning criticism of the organisation’s chief executive in yesterday’s report on the inexplicable handling of the Circuit of Wales project.
“The report highlighted leadership that had poor record-keeping, poor judgement and which was not properly in control of its business.
“As promised by the Cabinet Secretary last year, commuters will be expecting immediate improvements – quick wins – in their daily service including access to free Wi-Fi.
“From the outset, we have been adamant that the priorities of Welsh passengers should be at the very heart of the new franchise namely; an agreement that takes into account the commercial realities of expanding passenger numbers over time, and trains that are reliable, cost effective and contain enough seats to accommodate the travelling public.”

Photo: An Arriva Trains Wales train on the Cambrian Railway (©Owain Betts)

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