Priorities of passengers must be at the heart of the next rail franchise

Commenting following the Welsh Government’s invitation to companies to submit final tenders for the next Wales and Borders Rail franchise, Shadow Transport Secretary, Russell George AM, has said:


“The Welsh public rightly expects a truly 21st century rail service that puts the passenger first. Commuters should be seeing the new rail service provide access to free Wi-Fi, built to serve the needs of local communities, and achieve high standards in relation to environmental sustainability.


“The experience of the previous franchise was an acute demonstration that it is absolutely vital to “get things right” during the procurement of a major rail operating agreement, particularly to ensure that it delivers for passengers and taxpayers alike over the course of the entire franchise period.


“Welsh Conservatives are adamant the priorities of Welsh passengers should be at the very heart of the new Wales and Borders Rail franchise namely; an agreement that takes into account the commercial realities of expanding passenger numbers over time, and trains that are reliable, cost effective and contain enough seats to accommodate the travelling public.


“Although the procurement process is approaching an advanced stage, we will continue to hold the Welsh Labour-led Government’s “feet to the fire” over the management and awarding of the new rail franchise so the Welsh public’s priorities are delivered in full.”