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Ynys Môn to Cardiff air link to come to an end, climate change minister announces

08 Jun 2022 3 minutes Read
Eastern Airways plane picture by Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The Ynys Môn to Cardiff air link will come to an end, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change has announced.

The service was costly, bad for the environment and the train link from the north to the south of Wales faster, Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, added.

The £2.93m air service has been suspended since March 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.

Weekday intra-Wales flights began in May 2007 under the Plaid Cymru-Labour One Wales Government and was dubbed ‘IeuanAir’ after the Deputy First Minister and Transport Minister at the time, Ieuan Wyn Jones.

Following a full cost-benefit analysis of the future of the air service, the Welsh Government said that they had made a decision to cease all support for the service.

Ceasing support for the service has led to the loss of 7 of the 10 jobs employed by Cardiff International Airport Limited to run Anglesey Airport.

“Passenger demand is not estimated to recover to pre-Covid levels until 2024/2025 and it will not match the potential demand that would have happened by 2025 if Covid had not occurred,” Lee Waters said. “Future demand for air travel continues to remain very uncertain.

“According to pre-pandemic passenger surveys undertaken by the operator, 77% of the people who travelled on the service used it for work purposes. It is widely recognised that business travel has significantly reduced as a result of the pandemic, and this change in behaviour is likely to continue.”

‘Attractive’

The Deputy Climate Change Minister added that the decision followed the outcome of an independent study commissioned by the Welsh Government into the carbon impact of the service on the environment.

“The study showed the service had a more negative impact on the environment than any other form of travel between Ynys Mon and Cardiff, unless it was flying close to full capacity every day, which, given the significant reduction in business travel since the pandemic, would be very highly unlikely. Even if every flight was full, the carbon impact of the service would be significantly worse than the rail alternative,” Lee Waters said.

“The analysis also showed that despite common perceptions, the air service was not always the fastest link to Cardiff from north Wales, especially east of Bangor, where rail travel is actually faster, door-to-door.

“The Welsh Government’s investment in new rail carriages, with Wi-Fi, comfortable workspaces and on-board catering, means that the Holyhead-Cardiff rail service now offers a much more attractive proposition for those who still need to travel on business between the north and the south.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
25 days ago

Now we need robust support for those whose employment will be negatively affected by this important and necessary action.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
25 days ago

The train may be better for the environment, but it is an absolute rip off. Usually £96 from Llandudno to Cardiff. Extortionate.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
25 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

A suggestion: why not invest in long distance electric buses from north Wales to Cardiff?
Better for the environment, affordable and completely within the WGs powers.

hdavies15
hdavies15
25 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Are electric buses reliable ? Read somewhere that they need to “rest” regularly otherwise at risk of catching fire. Not a good advert for safer travel if that’s the case.

Welsh_Draig_NPT
Welsh_Draig_NPT
25 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Unfortunately, that would take 5-6 hours from the North to the South of Wales. It’s not a good enough replacement, even if you electrify the trains, it is still not quick enough for a modern country to travel from one part to another.

Richard
Richard
25 days ago

‘ Von Ieuans Express’ can be a useful
way to get to Cardiff but ths loss the airlink and reasons for it are of course as bogus as those offered for the axing of the Llanbedr by pass.

Investment in northern and north West or mid Walea to Cardiff transport is as rare as a Labour MP, MS or county councillor west of Conwy and north of Swansea …..or Brecon !

Which of course is well noticed by locals

hdavies15
hdavies15
25 days ago
Reply to  Richard

Elsewhere the main thrust of the story is all about “you can’t keep funding accumulating losses” which is a logical conclusion, except Welsh gov has loads of form when it comes to pouring cash down drains.

Richard
Richard
25 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Agreed – it loves projects to wave 👋🏽 around. Plaid also unfortunately with the lap top for all farce …..

Llinos
Llinos
25 days ago

what about gliders? Or hot air balloons? Or hitch a ride on Rishi’s helicopter? 🙂

Last edited 25 days ago by Llinos
hdavies15
hdavies15
25 days ago
Reply to  Llinos

And the hot air balloons could be fuelled by the guff coming out of those A.S ‘s travelling in the carriages. Indeed there might be enough left over to heat up their teas coffees and other exotic beverages ! Time for some imaginative repurposing.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
25 days ago

Perhaps we need to make more noise about the need for the western and eastern North-South rail links in Wales. It is all very well ‘business types’ flying from Cardiff to Ynys Mon, but what about the rest of us who might wish to travel between some of the intermediate points on the route? If we had electrified light rail servies on both those routes I think it would do much for reducing car use.

CJPh
CJPh
25 days ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Domestic air travel makes no sense for a nation of our size. As electric cars become more affordable, improving roads between North and south is key. Wales’ carbon footprint is miniscule as compared to the world’s main consumers and polluters; we should trust the citizenry to make wise decisions, minimise top-down edicts and maximise incentives. Rail? Not sure – we are a largely rural nation. A bigger reliance on rail will bring more urbanisation to Wales and leaves cefngwlad further cut off from urban centres (jobs, political decisions etc). If Wales were bigger, maybe it could handle ubiquitous rail travel.… Read more »

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
25 days ago
Reply to  CJPh

Without a rail network how are goods to be moved around Wales?

Welsh_Draig_NPT
Welsh_Draig_NPT
25 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

The same way it does now with haulage.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
25 days ago

“the Holyhead-Cardiff rail service now offers a much more attractive proposition for those who still need to travel on business between the north and the south.”

That’s the service that runs via Bangor, Pwllheli, Aberystwyth and Carmarthen, yes?

Rob
Rob
25 days ago

I think the service would have been more viable if-
a) there was a more variety destinations available to fly from CWL, and
b) the service allowed for interline connections, allowing for passengers to through check their luggage to their final destination.
Point-to-point services don’t allow for this

Welsh_Draig_NPT
Welsh_Draig_NPT
25 days ago

Yet again the Senedd will pull the plug on something without a viable alternative.

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