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Rail cancellations "unacceptable" - claims AM

Created on 14/12/2017 @ 07:44
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Passengers in Welshpool are being given a poor rail service following numerous cancellations by Arriva Trains Wales, claims AM, Russell George.

So concerned, he took the matter up with First Minister Carwyn Jones yesterday, he said he was aware of the situation which was due to rolling stock shortages.

He told Mr George that he hoped the new rail franchise which covers the Cambrian Railway would address the issue.
Speaking in the National Assembly for Wales, Mr George drew the First Minister’s attention to the repeated cancellation of services between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury during recent weeks. 
One of Mr George’s constituents, Christopher Banks, a student living in Newtown but studying in Shrewsbury, reported that cancellations had reached an unacceptable frequency with the 7.38am service cancelled on the 13th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 27 and 29th November.

After questioning the First Minister, Mr George said: “The odd cancellation once every few months is part and parcel of railway life and whilst aggravating, customers can accept and put up with it.
“But there have been a large number of cancellations or part cancellations recently with no alternative bus service being provided, leaving Cambrian Line passengers totally in the lurch.
“The cancellations often occur minutes before the train is due to depart, which, of course, makes it impossible for passengers to make alternative arrangements.”

He added: “The Cambrian line service is used by a large number of regular commuters and also by students going to Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury FE College.

“It is therefore unacceptable for Arriva Trains Wales’ performance to slip back to the poor levels of performance which characterised their early years in the franchise on the Cambrian Line.
“I was pleased that the First Minister agreed with me that the repeated cancellations without any alternative provision was unacceptable and that it is hoped that the service will see a discernible improvement when the new franchise begins.
“Until that time, I will be urging Arriva Trains Wales to up their game.”

In response to Mr George, the First Minister said: No, it's not acceptable. Of course, this is a service that is not devolved. There have been some cancelled services on the Cambrian line for various reasons: some are rolling stock shortages, which, when the new franchise starts, is something we want to see end, and there have been repair issues that I understand. 

“But, no, I can understand the deep frustration felt by customers on the rail services, and Arriva Trains Wales have to ensure that they do what they can to avoid cancellations and, if there are cancellations, to put on alternative transport. That's what people would expect and that's the kind of service that we would urge them to provide.”
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