Posted: Thu 31st Mar 2022

Apology issued over ‘significant failings’ in communication after rail delays

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 31st, 2022

An apology has been issued over “significant failings” in communication after major rail delays in Wales.

Transport for Wales are asking anyone who was affected by rail problems on Monday to get in touch with them as they investigate what went wrong.

Yesterday we reported on the issue as Senedd Members described how someone lost their job and others missed a funeral after experiencing delays of up to six hours on trains.

North Wales MS Llyr Gruffydd said the journey was “the most appalling experience I’ve ever had in using a train in Wales”.

Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders followed up on her request for a formal statement from Deputy Minister for Transport Lee Waters during a Senedd session yesterday.

She said: “I did call on the Deputy Minister for Climate Change to make a statement regarding the horrendous situation on Monday that saw a number of trains, several carriages, hundreds of travellers stranded for several hours on trains on a very warm day, and the situation was less than ideal.

“Well, I’m very pleased to say that the minister and I spoke yesterday afternoon, afterwards, and he did promise that he would get some kind of information back from Transport for Wales.

“I’m very grateful for the letter I’ve had from the chief executive, via you, Deputy Minister, and they are going to launch a serious investigation into that.

“They are asking anybody to come forward who was greatly affected by this, and I would urge people to do that. Diolch.”

Mr Waters said: “I was present yesterday afternoon during business questions, and I heard the quite harrowing accounts by the member of the experience she and fellow passengers had had, and I was very sorry to hear it.

“I met with the chair and the chief executive of Transport for Wales straight afterwards to discuss it.

“Clearly, it’s not right that just because there happened to be politicians on the train that there is a response, but there were a number of members there who were able to give first-hand testimony.

“I took it very seriously, and particularly the accounts of members of the public not able to attend a funeral and having trouble with their jobs.

“Transport for Wales are taking this very seriously. There was a problem with the train leaving a maintenance depot—not a TfW maintenance depot—but then it ceased to function once it hit a certain point, and that caused then a cascade of problems.

“I’m very keen, as are they, to use the exercise to learn lessons, particularly around the communications.

“There do seem to be some significant failings in the way the messaging was dealt with.

“I’ve had a very constructive and robust conversation with TfW about this, and we are both keen to learn from it to make sure we can try and prevent this from happening again.

“I’d like to reiterate the apology that I gave to all members of the public who were on that train.

“Things will happen from time to time on the railways, but it’s how we respond to them, I think, is the mark of it, and I hope that we can certainly learn the lessons from that.”

A copy of the TfW response to Janet Finch-Saunders can be seen below:

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