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Conservatives call on Transport for Wales to ‘get a grip’ after Wales v Belarus overcrowding

15 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Transport for Wales train. Picture by Jeremy Segrott (CC BY 2.0). Natasha Asghar picture by Senedd Cymru.

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.”

‘Plan ahead’

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.”

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Philip Jones
Philip Jones
19 days ago

The sheer nerve of the Tories. Imagine their response if TfW bought a few dozen rail units for occasional use.

Philip Hollington
Philip Hollington
19 days ago

Where does she suggest they get them from?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
19 days ago

Why don’t the Conservative party get a grip and devolve control of the railways properly, then they can justifiably hold our elected Government to account?

And while on the subject, can the Westminster Government (Conservative!) get a grip on the ever rising ticket prices?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
19 days ago

This just shows me tory ignorance and bandwagon jumping. This has been an issue for years. I have spent more time standing than sitting going to these matches and their lack of carriages over the years, and only just now the tories care after the media report it? So full of it.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
19 days ago

It also doesn’t help that to get from north to south we have to go to England to pick up people from Hereford. Now if we somehow magically had a line from north to south that stayed in our country, this would be less of an issue. Also look at our railway map. If that doesn’t show we have an extractive economy, I don’t know what does. They only built the railway lines to make it easier for them to steal off us.

Rob Pountney
Rob Pountney
19 days ago

This is just astonishing…
1. Westminster is responsible for rail transport in Wales.
2. You can’t add extra carriages that don’t exist.
3. If Wales had it’s 5,500 million share of funding which has been diverted to the English HS2 I’m confident they would be able to afford the outlay needed to make the Welsh rail system fit for purpose…

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
19 days ago

Welsh Conservatives? Surely an oxymoron?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
19 days ago
Reply to  Mick Tems

And I emphasise , the moron.

Jeannie
Jeannie
19 days ago

Same thing happened to us 3 years ago. A few of us coming home from a weekend in Bath we had to join the train from Cardiff at Newport. International weekend and only 2 carriages not a seat to be had. Plus we all had overnight luggage and nowhere to put it. You could not walk to the toilets and there was no tea or coffee availabale. Some people were still standing at Chester. Not funny as we are all 60 to 70 years of age. A gentleman did offer his seat unlike the hungover youngsters. A nightmare journey.

hdavies15
hdavies15
19 days ago
Reply to  Jeannie

Should have made sure that you rode on a train from Bristol Parkway to Birmingham and on to Crewe. Then take a connecting train from Crewe. That would have given you a chance to see the better quality of train deployed in England. Train travel in Wales is a joke and a very sick one when it comes to major rugby events.

Penderyn
Penderyn
19 days ago
Reply to  Jeannie

The Tories control the trains in Cymru from London. Us Welsh are not deemed trustworthy enough to decide.
They are the problem

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
19 days ago

Not to condone those unacceptable scenes of overcrowding during the recent Wales vs Fiji Rugby international, but more opportunism from Natasha Asghar MS and Welsh Conservatives. She & they forget. Her pathetic party were quite happy to lie to Welsh voters with the knowledge that their Whitehall overlords were going to scrap their 2015 General Election manifesto pledge of rail electrification between Cardiff & Swansea. And her leader Andrew RT Davies even countersigned that 2015 Wales manifesto along with Tory toddler Alun Cairns who strutted around like a peacock smugly announcing to the media how the Conservative were investing in… Read more »

Sion Cwilt
Sion Cwilt
19 days ago

Bit rich from the com9ng from the Tories, even if it’s a valid point. Wales should have more control over rail, and our government should be making far more noise over this than they are – on the shortcomings of our rail system as well as many other devolved issues that aren’t as they should be because of the strictures of the devolution settlement that leaves Westminster effectively in control. The Welsh Government, whilst demonstrating that it’s trying to do its best, needs to constantly draw attention to the fact that it could do better if it had more control… Read more »

Quornby
Quornby
19 days ago

If our HST2 consequentials had not been stolen by Westminster we’d have cash to spare for new rolling stock.

Last edited 19 days ago by Quornby
Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
19 days ago

She is a bit cheeky considering that Welsh Labour brought a train factory to the region she represents. But then as a hereditary MS she probably knows nothing about South Wales East.

Notta Bott
Notta Bott
19 days ago

Hand back the HS2 money that won’t benefit Wales and I am sure it will all be fine

Penderyn
Penderyn
19 days ago

What a cheek, the party that drained Wales of vast amounts of resources wealth with no real reinvestment……is getting on its high horse again.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
18 days ago

The Tories don’t give a sh*t about over crowded trains, only stoking outrage in order to gain votes. The poor state of Wales is mainly down to them and their neglect over the centuries. Whenever I hear them cry with apparent caring or concern it gets my back up !

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