Thursday, 14 April 2011


Plaid Cymru, in government, has gone to great lengths to ensure that improvements to current rail services where they can be made, have been made, running 'rail in Wales,for Wales, means that the possibilities of reopening previously closed railway lines and closed railway stations becomes something more than a pipe-dream. It would also make sense to get the powers to take over responsibility for running the tracks from Network Rail - as any rail projects in Wales are going to be well down the list of priorities. There needs to be much better integration of track and train - something that will allow for far greater efficiencies.

There is a clear need to ensure that easily accessible rail services are available to far more people in the near future. Improving infrastructure, including rail, is absolutely vital to the development of the Welsh economy - to create the successful, sustainable, prosperous and green nation that Wales can be. The Glas Cymru model of how a ‘not-for-profit’ company can operate, already provides an excellent example of what's possible and could have great potential for the delivery of much better and more integrated rail services here in Wales.

It's pretty obvious that the rail franchise agreement for Wales needs a complete overhaul and currently delivers little to the the people of Wales. So Plaid will seek to ensure that the responsibility for the service is transferred entirely to the Welsh Government and create a not for profit company to run the service. it also makes sense to complete the devolution of responsibility and funding for Network Rail in order to complete the work of electrifying the Great Western Main Line to Swansea, electrify the Valley Lines Network and put in place a plan for the electrification of the North Wales Main Line and the Marches Line.

Plaid Cymru's commitment to putting the management of Welsh railways in the hands of a 'not for profit' company when the current franchise contract with Arriva Trains Wales ends in 2018 is significant major step forward. This will enable the Welsh Government to develop a transport system to suit the needs of the people of Wales, rather than see rail transport in Wales merely seen as previously being a mere add on to transport policy of England.

Significant savings could also be made with the possibilities of reinvestment projects such as re-opening lines across Wales, improving journey times or purchasing additional rolling stock. The development of an All-Wales transport network complete with integrated ticketing and timetables across public transport in Wales.

Plaid will also seek to increase the frequency of rail services between Cardiff and the west of Wales, and from Fishguard to the east, and examine Opportunities to introduce light-rail links in parts of the country, as well as enabling direct services between Ebbw Vale and Newport. Plaid will support more services across mid Wales. Following the success of the Ebbw Vale service, Plaid will also work to reopen services on disused lines where there is a good case to do so.

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