Tory Senedd Member calls for Transport for Wales improvement after being stuck on a train for nine hours
A Conservative Senedd Member has called for Wales’ nationalised rail service to be improved after being stuck on a Transport for Wales train for nine hours.
Janet Finch-Saunders MS, the Shadow Minister for climate change was stuck on a train from the north to the south of Wales at Hereford, and said that she tried to phone the Deputy Minister for climate change to let him know about the situation.
The delays also affected services between Manchester Piccadilly and Milford Haven, between Holyhead and Cardiff Central, and between Chester and Llanelli.
National Rail and Transport for Wales said delay was caused by a broken down train between 5.21pm, and 7.21pm.
Really poor train journey @tfwrail
Been stuck at Hereford for ages now. The train is sweltering and people sat on the floor etc.
— Janet E Finch-Saunders (@JFinchSaunders) March 28, 2022
“It was the most horrendous situation, people crying, people anxious to get to their final destination,” Janet Finch-Saunders said.
“In desperation, my colleague Llyr Gruffydd and I took to Twitter to communicate with the Deputy Minister for climate change Lee Waters to report the ongoing train delay which had come to a halt on the tracks. Needless to say, Mr Waters failed to respond.
“The people of Wales deserve a national train network that is not only modern and affordable but reliant and accountable when things go wrong. Yesterday was a poor example of the so-called progress this Welsh Government is supposedly making in its rail development plan.”
Transport for Wales said: “Due to a broken down train between Hereford and Newport South Wales trains have to run at reduced speed on all lines.
“Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 9pm on March 28.”
The company is currently rolling out a project of improvements, saying that from 2023 an £800m investment will ensure that 95% of journeys are on new trains.
The Welsh Government have in the past pointed to a lack of investment in Welsh rail by the UK Government for the poor quality of Wales’ transport network.
Only 22 miles – or 2% – of the railway in Wales is electrified, and Mrk Drakeford said that he had called for devolution of responsibility in rail to the Senedd.
Speaking last month, the First Minister said: “Wales is treated anything but fairly when it comes to rail investment by the UK Government,” Mark Drakeford responded, adding that “Wales loses out on billions of pounds’ worth of investment.
“It is nonsensical—absolutely nonsensical—to claim that, because there is a new service from London to Birmingham, somehow that means Wales has had its fair share of that investment.
“Scotland, where comparability is conceded, will have £10 billion to invest in rail infrastructure in Scotland, every penny of which is being denied here to Wales.
“And all of that comes on top of a decade of neglect of investment in the infrastructure here in Wales.”
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