Conservatives call on Transport for Wales to ‘get a grip’ after Wales v Belarus overcrowding
The Welsh Conservatives have called for Transport for Wales bosses to “get a grip” after more overcrowding on trains into Cardiff before the Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Belarus on Saturday.
The transport body which was privatised by the Welsh Government last year ran a service between Cardiff and Manchester with just two carriages, forcing passengers to sit on the floor or stand.
Transport for Wales said demand for carriages had exceeded availability.
But it comes just weeks after similar scenes unfolded before Wales’ match against the All Blacks prompted similar criticism.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar MS, said it was clear that organisers “haven’t learnt any lessons” and that “the Welsh government took responsibility for Welsh issues like this”.
“Overcrowding on trains is becoming more frequent, but yet nothing changes, despite these games being in the sporting diary months in advance,” she said.
“Despite us calling for more carriages to be put on following overcrowding after a Wales rugby match, staff at the Labour government-owned body are just closing their eyes and hoping the problem goes away.
“They must stop ignoring this serious issue and take action to finally get a grip on it because Welsh passengers deserve so much better than the service they are currently experiencing.”
A spokeswoman for Transport for Wales said they were working hard to meet demand for their services and regularly reviewed their timetables to ensure carriages were in the right place.
“Whilst all our available carriages are in use, demand for services can sometimes exceed availability,” she said. “As a result, we were required to amend some services following yesterday’s Wales international football match, and we apologise to passengers for this disruption to their journey.
“We want all our passengers to have a safe and enjoyable journey with us, and we expect passengers travelling with us to take personal responsibility for their actions and behaviour.
“Incidents on-board our services can be reported to the British Transport Police by texting 60106, however, emergencies should always be reported to 999.
“Whilst all our available train carriages are in service, we always advise passengers to plan ahead. Passengers can consider whether they want to travel on trains that are likely to be busy, based on information from our Capacity Checker tool. We advise passengers to socially distance where possible and urge them to wear a face covering unless they are exempt.”