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MPs to grill TFW chief over increasing South Wales Metro costs

13 Jul 2023 2 minute read
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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.

Urgent action

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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Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
1 year ago

TfW should scrap the proposed line to the Bay pending the adoption of smaller-scale LIGHT light rail for on-street application throughout Cardiff.

I believe that the Metro will fail to meet its ridership objectives even in the medium term as the labour market has changed so much, with home working etc. Commuting is anyway a complete waste of time, energy, money and effort. And the Capital City Region is a wet dream, inimical to the future of Cymru as a balanced whole.

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Anderson

Agree in principle.
But evidence needed. Investment in urban and urban transport in Wales is desperately needed.

Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
11 months ago

Yes, Charles, but that investment needs to be much more carefully considered (unlike recent decisions, in respect of the Metro, New M4, more buses and other turkeys), firstly in respect of scale and sustainability. Most likely TfW and the WG will screw it up again. A Welsh highway code prioritising safety, pavements and road maintenance (yes, unglamorous potholes!) would be a good start. People First!

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
1 year ago

Should not TfW be asking the MPs why Wales does not have enough money!

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