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