Views sought on new rail franchise for Wales

Members of the public are being asked what they would like to see from the next rail franchise for Wales.

Transport Minister Edwina Hart has launched a public consultation to inform the specification for the next Wales and Borders rail franchise, which will include Metro rail services in south east Wales. It is expected that responsibility for awarding the next Wales and Borders Franchise will transfer to the Welsh Government early in 2017 in time for the next franchise to start in 2018.

The consultation seeks opinions on the priorities for improvements to the franchise in a number of areas, including:

•Services and capacity

•Performance

•Fares and ticketing

•Rolling stock

Mrs Hart said:

“For the first time decisions about our railway services i will be taken in Wales to ensure we have the high quality, effective, and affordable service we need. I am expecting real benefits to passengers, including faster journey times, higher quality services, improved reliability and less overcrowding.

“Today’s consultation is the first stage of public and industry engagement to help develop the draft specification for the award of the next franchise. I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to have their say in shaping the rail services of the future.”

A report summarising the views expressed in the consultation will be published after the elections to the National Assembly for Wales in May have taken place.