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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