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Local railway journeys should be free, says MS

Created on 05/08/2022 @ 14:42
Train journeys from Newtown along the Cambrian Railway and other Welsh railway lines should be free for commuters and medium journeys, a local politician has urged.

Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has urged the Welsh Government to consider a policy similar to that announced by the Spanish government to help people through the cost of living crisis.

Spain's policy which will see free train journeys for commuter and medium-distance trains between September 1 and December 31.

The policy, announced by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez last month, is designed to help cushion the impact of the cost-of-living crisis for Spanish citizens, particularly those who rely on using public transport to get to work.

The policy will also see a 30% discount on all other forms of public transport, including metros, buses and trams.

In Germany, a similar scheme of offering all rail tickets for €9 was found to have decreased the level of congestion in 23 of the 26 cities examined.

Jane Dodds MS, said: “With the cost-of-living crisis surging, we need to be looking at innovative solutions to help keep costs down. For many people, getting to work is one of their biggest expenses, whether they are driving with high fuel prices, or using expensive train passes already.

“This scheme coming into effect in Spain is an example of one way in which workers can have some sort of cushion against rapidly rising prices.

“We know that lower income families are more reliant on public transport in Wales, we also know that lower income families are bearing the brunt of this cost-of-living crisis.

“The policy would also be extremely green and would hopefully go a long way into encouraging people to move to public transport permanently, the evidence from the scheme in Germany is really encouraging on this.

“I hope that the Welsh Labour Government will look at some of the evidence coming out of our European neighbours and consider introducing a similar scheme here in Wales.”