Posted: Wed 7th Feb 2024

Rail fares to rise by up to 4.9% to ‘make investments’ in South Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 7th, 2024

The Welsh Government has today announced that rail fares will increase to meet rising costs despite announcing a further £236million for Transport for Wales only recently.

The 4.9% increase will come into effect on 3 March 2024.

In a statement Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, confirmed the “below-inflation.”

He said the rise in ticket prices is part of the Welsh government’s strategy to manage rising operational costs while ensuring continued investment in rail infrastructure and services.

Mr Waters’ statement pointed to several investments in South Wales, he said:

“To continue to be able to make investments, such as our new Ebbw Vale to Newport services, and to meet rising costs whilst minimising the impact on passengers, we are implementing a below inflation increase of 4.9% in rail fares from 3 March 2024. This is in line with the wider rail industry.”

“Transport for Wales are committed to making it easier for passengers to travel. They are currently trialling brand new Pay As You Go rail fares in South Wales which offer cheaper, tap in – tap out journeys using a phone or bank card.”

He said: “South Wales is the first UK location outside of London where rail passengers can use this turn up and go technology. Passengers travelling between Pontyclun, Cardiff and Newport are currently benefitting from this innovation, with a wider rollout initially planned for the South Wales Metro area starting with the Ebbw Vale line this Spring.”

Reaction

Plaid Cymru has warned that increasing rail fares could harm passenger numbers at a time where more should be encouraged to opt for public transport.

The rise was justified as being able to make investments in rail services across south Wales, while passengers in north Wales are missing out again.

Plaid have again called for Wales to be given the £3.9bn owed from HS2 consequentials in a bid to invest in rail infrastructure and other public transport across Wales and “ensure parity for communities.”

Both Labour and the Conservatives must “commit to right this wrong” on the ongoing HS2 scanda, Plaid Cymru’s Delyth Jewell has said.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Transport, Delyth Jewell MS said:

“Rail passengers will face another blow with near-inflation rail fare hikes of 4.9% announced today. At a time when we should be encouraging more people to use public transport, I’m concerned that this hike could really harm passenger numbers.

“What’s even more confusing is that passengers are expected to pay up despite the Labour Government only recently pledging an extra £236million into Transport for Wales – a number, we were told, that was needed to plug gaps after inaccurate passenger projections. From poor records on customer satisfaction, punctuality, and cancellations – the public must get value for money.

“While Labour may justify this as an investment in rail services in the south, those in the north are missing out yet again.

“The truth of the matter is that we desperately need the £3.9bn denied to Wales from England’s HS2 to invest in public transport infrastructure across Wales and ensure parity between communities. Both Labour and the Conservatives must commit to right this wrong and give Wales what its owed.”

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