Politician demands answers on Arriva Trains Wales cancellations

By Jonny Drury | Newtown | Transport | Published:

A politician has question why a rail operator has been repeatedly cancelling trains from Mid Wales into England in recent weeks.

The deterioration of the rail service operated by Arriva Trains Wales on the Cambrian Line was raised by assembly member Russell George in the Welsh Assembly this week.

One of Mr George's constituents, Christopher Banks, a student living in Newtown and studying in Shrewsbury, reported that cancellations had reached an unacceptable frequency, with the 07.38am service cancelled on the November 13, 17, 20, 21, 27 and 29. 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.

“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."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said the cancellations were unacceptable, and hoped to see the service improve when the franchise is given to another bidder in the near future.

Mr George added: "Until that time, I will be urging Arriva Trains Wales to up their game.”

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.


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