Welsh train firm fined £2.3 million
The firm responsible for the Transport for Wales services, KeolisAmey, has been fined £2.3m by the Welsh Government for poor performance.
Welsh Assembly economy minister, Ken Skates, said the penalty notices had been handed out because the company had not lived up to its contract.
He said that recent improvements must continue. The company took over the £5bn franchise in October 2018.
Transport for Wales said it was a overall sum imposed over different periods with fines issued on a periodic basis.
KeolisAmey was awarded the Wales and Borders franchise by the Welsh Government in 2018.
The day-to-day contract is managed by Transport for Wales - a part of Welsh Government which also provides the branding the train services use.
In December the organisation saw cancellations following the introduction of a new timetable. The company blamed staff shortages.
Speaking in the Welsh Assembly Mr Skates said: "So far, something in the region of £2.3m in penalty notices have been issued to KeolisAmey,"
He said the money would be reinvested in rail services.
Recently extra capacity has been provided for 6,500 more passengers.
Kevin Thomas, Chief Executive of KeolisAmey Wales said: “I would like to apologise for the disruption caused to passengers over the past few months. We recognise that we have not been able to deliver the quality of service that we aim to and that our passengers across the network deserve.
“Working in partnership with Transport for Wales, we are undertaking a transformation of our railway that is going to take time, with our people working incredibly hard to deliver a programme of change for the benefit of our customers and communities.
“Whilst there is a complex journey of change and improvement ahead of us, it is encouraging to report that we are starting to see some improvements, with a 24 per cent reduction in network delay minutes following the introduction of our December timetable.
"We have welcomed the arrival of the Class 170’s, the recruitment of over 200 additional train crew and the introduction of more than 186 new Sunday Services. We have also reintroduced regular passenger services along the Halton Curve, between Wrexham/Chester and Liverpool, and seen the refurbishment of stations across the network, all at the same time as we’re investing £40 million in our existing fleet so that our passengers can enjoy a more comfortable and modern experience.
“Amongst this progress, we know we must do better, and we look forward to meeting with the Economy Minister next month as we all look to build on these improvements.”
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