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Transport for Wales defend themselves against Tory criticism: ‘Only 1% of trains over 15 minutes late’

18 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Left, he new Stadler FLIRT trains being built for TFL. Photo Transport for Wales. Right, Natasha Asghar MS.

Transport for Wales have defended themselves against criticism by the Conservatives, who have said that more than 774,471 trains have failed to turn up on time since TfW started running rail services in Wales.

10,579 trains were completely cancelled between October 18th 2018 – just days after Transport for Wales took over rail services – and now, Conservative MS Natasha Asghar found after a Freedom of Information request.

But Transport for Wales said that in total, only 1% of their trains had been delayed for over 15 minutes.

The Welsh Government nationalised the Wales and Borders rail franchise in February this year, saying at the time that it would help secure a better future for passengers.

But Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar MS, said that delays and cancellations had beenincredibly frustrating to the millions of people”. 

“Since Transport for Wales started running the show things have gone from bad to worse – and that’s not on,” she said. “Commuters and visitors deserve better.

“They should be able to use our trains without fear of regular delays and cancellations, which in turn leaves people late for work or missing vital appointments.

“It is quite clear that nothing has improved since the Labour government nationalised the railway – despite them saying it would protect services and deliver infrastructure services.

“If we are to encourage people out of private cars and onto public transport – a rhetoric often chanted by Labour ministers – then we need to see some serious improvements to stop train delays and cancellations.”

‘Investing’

A spokesperson for Transport for Wales however said that their staff “work incredibly hard to ensure trains run on time or as close to their scheduled time as possible”.

“The number of services delayed by more than 15 minutes represents just 1% of our total number of services and customers are able to claim compensation for delays of more than 15 minutes using our Delay Repay service,” they said.

“We aim to keep cancellations to an absolute minimum and just 1% of our services have been cancelled this year. Unfortunately, cancellations are sometimes unavoidable due to circumstances beyond our control such as bad weather or incidents on the network.

“We understand delays and cancellations are frustrating for customers and TfW is investing heavily in new trains and infrastructure to improve performance across the Wales and Borders network.”

Transport for Wales had previously said that some new services had been delayed due to Covid-19’s consequences on areas such as disruptions in supply chains.

The delivery of the revised plan is dependent on infrastructure changes by Network Rail, which is funded by the UK Government.

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Phil Jones
Phil Jones
1 month ago

Tory criticism of TfW is a bit rich coming on the day that the Westminster government nationalised Southern Rail.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Perhaps Natasha Asghar could use her link to the UK Gov, through the Tory party, and ask for the money we are now paying towards HS2, be re directed back to Wales, to help correct the shortcomings she sees, which are due to historic lack of money / investment from Westminster.

Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Or how about £150m written of by Welsh Labour on not providing s relief road on the m4? Or the metro for Cardiff while the rest of wales has sod all? Focus on what wales government’s doing instead of shifting focus onto something irrelevant.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

The final cost of the M4 relief road cost was more like £1.4 billion that’s why it was cancelled. It was also cancelled for environmental reasons (something that the Tories don’t understand or even care about). As for the Cardiff Metro well: a). A very substantial portion of the Welsh population lives in South Wales so it is quite understandable that the Welsh government would want to develop a public transport system that serves such a large portion of the population And b). Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro And c). North Wales Metro So the Senedd is developing public… Read more »

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

To be fair, we should ask what percentages were 5 minutes, or 10 minutes late etc, or better still be shown a graph.
Before one asks how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, we must demand to see the design specs for the pin and sizes of the said imaginary beings.
A question for BBC’s excellant More or Less I think

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

After WW2 the nationalised railway saved the network and turned around the years of wartime forced neglect. By 1968 with the system breaking even and the smell of future profits in the air the media was weaponised and used to denigrate that achievement. Very soon the jackals turned up and tore the system limb from limb. We have all seen the complete mess… Private companies creaming away the profits and the taxpayer paying any shortfall. And now here they go again…. Keep the Tory jackals away from Wales’ railway.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago

Yeah because You-May-Never-Arriva were such a great train service weren’t they.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

Shall we compare TFW trains and services with the English equivalents?… You know, for fairness like?

Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Yes you would realise how bad our trains really are.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

I don’t think any of the trains anywhere in the UK are anything to be proud of. Try travelling on trains outside of the UK and then you’ll see how bad they really are.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

Tories, do they ever engage their brains before they make a statement?

Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Do you?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

Nice.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
1 month ago

Don’t worry about his comments, he’ll be joining the LEEDS next

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Admittedly, services are not perfect but are better compared to the days of under investment and tardiness when privatised. Tory privatisation was touted as the answer to all the rail industries problems – it was far from it – with profits constantly put before services.

Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Not perfect, have you used any services? Army called in to resuce the ambulance service, buses cancelled, trains constantly late, any worse would be no service at all. Labour setting the bar low year on year.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

Of course it’s OK for the army to be called in to rescue English ambulance services and for English trains to be late, but then again those are Tory run so this is of course completely different. Having used You-May-Never-Arriva (the god-awful franchise that ran most of Wales’s rail services prior to TFW) I can tell you that the train services have improved. Still nowhere near as good as they were when they were run by British Rail though. Privatisation was a massive mistake (just like the privatisation of water, energy, telecoms) and should be reversed. I don’t see why… Read more »

Notta Bott
Notta Bott
1 month ago

Tory strategy, underfund it, criticise Labour for not running something underfunded well enough

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Notta Bott

And then the f*ckwit voters fall for it and vote tory so they can have more of it.

Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Wrong country, wrong government. We’re slating Welsh labour’s failing since 1999.

Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Notta Bott

Have you checked the fiscal report for wales? We waste more money person on services and still mange to produce worse results than England. A vote for Labour is a vote from the ill-informed.

Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Notta Bott

Replace tory with Welsh Labour and your comments will be right. We’re in Wales Welsh Labour are the slashers of our budget.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

You couldn’t be more wrong if your tried, the Senedd gets a block grant from Westminster so it is ultimately Westminster that decides how much money the Senedd gets in the first place. This is a dirty trick that the Tories have been using all over the UK ever since they came to power in 2010 – deliberately underfund public services and then blame others for the Tory party’s decision to underfund public services in the first place. And they haven’t just done this in Wales – in England Labour controlled councils have had their budgets slashed forcing those Labour… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Barry Pandy
Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Notta Bott

Welsh Labour have been in charge since 1999 in Wales so it’s Welsh Labour who are underfunding.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

Completely ignoring the fact that the Senedd had its budget cut by the Tory government in Westminster.

Jack
Jack
1 month ago

I remember having to ride those awful pacer trains on the valley lines. They were basically bus frames bolted onto rails. They were squealy, bouncy, even leaky when it rained.

The newer trains that have replaced them with aren’t great, but it’s a serious improvement on what was there before. I don’t know how you could argue it’s getting worse!

Last edited 1 month ago by Jack
Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack

Lucky you, us newport idiots are still waiting for the valleys line on 20 years late.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Is this the same Natasha Asghar MS, who represents a Conservative party that’s effectively renationalised two failing privately owned rail franchises.

I suggest she don’t throw stones out of spite as sometimes they bounce back and hit you where it hurts. Tory hypocrisy knows no bounds

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

We’re in Wales, why even mention something that has no bearing on Welsh Labour failings. Leave the English to sort themselves out and for a change why don’t we focus on our failing government ?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

Roland

The point Y Cymro was making is that Natasha Asghar is being a massive hypocrite – no surprise there, being a massive having-your-cake-and-eating-it hypocrite is THE number one requirement for a Tory.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Wish we could channel the abundant Tory hot air to warm our homes

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

Tory claims that over 1,060 services a day are late make no sense unless she lists them. Since TfW only run 956 a day she might be a little while doing so. Keep her off the media making a fool of herself anyway.

Roland
Roland
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Not claimed, they are FOI stats there’s a difference between fact and fiction . I know Welsh Labour can’t handle facts but it’s clearly written in the article, atleast have the decency to read an article before spewing toxic filth over it.

Roland
Roland
1 month ago

Yes but Welsh Labour have been in charge of wales since 1999 so tories have had sod all to do with labours outstanding rate of fail. The best at being the worst.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

If you are going to crawl over the comments section please have something relevant to say about the article Roland. No lover of Labour but your blanket rantings do not make you look the sharpest…….

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Roland

Again ignoring the fact that the Senedd’s overall budget gets decided by the government in Westminster and again ignoring the fact that the Tory government in Westminster decided to cut the Senedd’s budget and then blamed the Senedd for the very difficult spending decisions that the Senedd was forced to make. Another case of Tories having their cake and eating it.

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