Press release /Datganiad i’r wasg

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Wednesday November 30th 2016

North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has challenged the First Minister this week over his Government’s failure to support action to reduce disruption to rail services in north east Wales caused by leaf fall. 

Questioning Carwyn Jones in the Assembly Chamber, Mr Isherwood, said:   

“I contacted Arriva Trains Wales after disruption to services on the Wrexham-to-Bidston line at the end of October caused by leaf fall and weather conditions. They replied that they’d been trying to overcome the issue for a number of years, and were working in partnership with colleagues on the line to try and reduce the effect on their customers. They produced a paper in March of this year, supported by local user groups and bodies on the line, but unfortunately it wasn’t supported by the Welsh Government. Why was that, First Minister?” 

The First Minister replied: 

“That’s not correct. He points out, actually, that there’s a weakness in the system; that is, that the rail track operator and owner is divorced from the actual train company, but that is a system his own party put in place. It would be a far better system, to my mind, where the train operating company and the rail track operator and owner were one and the same body, so one can’t blame the other if there are any disruptions to services. But that is a system his party put in place and want to preserve.” 

Mr Isherwood added: “ An achievable timetable that rail customers could depend upon during the Autumn season of high leaf fall, and which was supported by rail users, was prevented by this First Minister’s Welsh Government, and his predictable antics, playing party politics to dodge responsibility, only damages public confidence.”