MPs to grill TFW chief over increasing South Wales Metro costs
Westminster’s Welsh Affairs Committee will be holding a one-off evidence session next Wednesday (19 July) with Transport for Wales Chief Executive Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde.
Committee members will examining the performance of Transport for Wales (TfW) services and the spiralling costs of the South Wales Metro.
When funding for the Metro project was confirmed in 2018, £738 million was made available. However, more recently, this figure has increased to around £1 billion.
MPs will also discuss the reliability of train services after serious concerns were raised in recent months.
In the 12 months between 2021-2022, 4% of TfW rail services were cancelled, an increase from 2.2% 2017-2020. This is despite fewer trains operating.
In May, the independent watchdog for transport users called on TfW to take urgent action to deliver a more reliable rail service to passengers.
Transport Focus wrote to the CEO urging him to ensure services are improved and has requested the production of an action plan with timescales for restoring service performance and reliability.
The watchdog’s intervention comes after rail users put TfW in joint bottom place for overall satisfaction, alongside TransPennine Express in a recent Transport Focus survey.
It also finished near the bottom for punctuality, reliability, crowding and information during the journey for passengers.
According to the Office of Rail and Road, Transport for Wales was also recorded as having significantly more cancellations than other major operators, with 12 per cent of services in March cancelled.
A Transport Focus survey found that there was only a 69% satisfaction with punctuality and reliability.
Concerns have also been raised over maintenance of the fleet, have experienced three fires between February and March 2023 alone.
MPs will also be asking witnesses about the South Wales mainline and bus services across Wales.
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