Rail franchise report welcomed by North Wales Economic Ambition Board

The North Wales Economic Ambition Board has welcomed the findings of a report commissioned by the Welsh Affairs Committee into the Wales and Borders rail franchise.

The report makes a number of recommendations for improvements to services across the area ahead of a bid for the new Wales and Borders rail franchise, which will be awarded in the autumn of 2018.

The Wales and Borders rail franchise report emphasised that many of the problems of the current arrangements were due to the fact that the 15-year franchise awarded in 2003 made no allowance for passenger growth or provision for additional trains over the period.

Whilst the service has met standards in terms of punctuality, customer satisfaction has fallen due to increased passenger numbers on ageing trains.

North Wales Economic Ambition Board Chairman, councillor Dilwyn Roberts said: “The residents and businesses of North Wales deserve a better rail service. What we want is a good standards of train services that help people get to where they want to be whether for work, leisure or study.

"Without better rail services, the North Wales economy simply won't be in a position to realise its full potential. As the North Wales Economic Ambition Board highlighted in our evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee, there is a clear need for new trains on Wales' rail network.

“We welcome the fact that the report includes a number of practical recommendations that will, if delivered, help to modernise, upgrade and expand the rail networks within the Wales and borders area.

“The Wales and Border franchise provides a once in a generation opportunity to deliver real improvements to rail services across the region. We look forward to seeing how this report will helps the Welsh Government as they look to confirm the next franchise from 2018.”

The North Wales Economic Ambition Board is a collaborative group of private and public organisations in North Wales committed to promoting economic growth in Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd and Wrexham.

 Abellio, Arriva, KeolisAmey and MTR have been named as preferred bidders for the new franchise.

Posted on Tuesday 24th January 2017