NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Jun 4th, 2018.
Delyn AM Hannah Blythyn has said changes to the Wales and Borders rail services – including the increase in the number of trains on the Wrexham to Bidston line and the decrease in fares in North Wales – are long overdue.
Details of the new franchise were announced by Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, on Monday.
The new services, which will be delivered by KeolisAmey in partnership with Transport for Wales, will be provided on new trains with a 65 per cent increase in capacity.
Fares in North Wales are to be cut by 10 per cent with half price concessionary fares for 16-18 year olds across the country.
Services are to double on the Wrexham to Bidston line with further investment into services that strengthen links across the border into the North West of England – including upgrades at “flagship stations” in Shotton, Wrexham General and Chester.
Hannah Blythyn, AM for Delyn, said the new plans represented what a modern rail service should provide.
She said: “A reduction in fares for passengers in North Wales is long overdue and much needed.
“The doubling of services on the Wrexham to Bidston line is vitally important for rail users in North Wales and as our region is culturally and economically interconnected with the North West of England, it is pleasing to see the new franchise investing in services that strengthen links over the border.
“I’m sure passengers will also be pleased to be able to use the new rolling stock of trains on an increased timetable, which a modern rail service demands.”
The new service will be branded as Transport for Wales, putting passengers’ priorities at the centre, focusing on alleviating concerns around seat capacity, journey times and service frequency while ensuring fair, affordable fares and quality, clean trains.
What the changes will mean in North Wales:
- Introduce the new fleet of diesel multiple units (DMUs) to the North Wales Coast in 2022.
- Reduce walk-up and season fares to, from and within North Wales by 10% to encourage travel.
- Invest in Shotton Station and Wrexham General from April 2024, to enable North Wales Metro capability.
- Invest to co-fund new station buildings at Blaenau Ffestiniog.
- Create a true intercity experience on the North-South long-distance services, bringing 12 newly refurbished Mark IV carriages to Wales.
- Introduce two new Community Rail Partnerships on the North Wales Line and the Crewe to Hereford line. These will be supported by the recruitment of two new Community and Stakeholder Managers and 13 Community and Customer Ambassadors.
- Provide ticket machines at more stations.
- Introduce a pay-as-you-go facility for users of our app from April 2021, finding the lowest available fares.
Train service improvements include:
- Delivering the North East Wales Metro by increasing frequency on the Wrexham-Bidston line to 2 trains per hour (tph) from December 2021, with fully refurbished metro trains.
- Introducing a new 1tph service from Chester to Liverpool Lime Street in December 2018.
- Revising timetables in December 2022 to introduce a new Liverpool to Llandudno and Shrewsbury service (1tph) and Liverpool to Cardiff (1 train every 2 hours), plus direct services between Manchester Airport and Bangor.