Monday, 2 May 2016


Plaid Cymru supports public ownership of the railway, and so we will continue to seek full and unrestricted control over the awarding of future rail franchises. In the meantime, under the current Westminster legislation, we will investigate alternative models for the next Welsh franchise that deliver as much public control as possible.

The Party of Wales will ensure that dividends and profits are reinvested and redistributed back into Welsh rail services through the most appropriate model that can be implemented. Plaid will work to protect all current routes which start or terminate in Wales as part of the Welsh franchise area. Transport for Wales will specify and procure a rail franchise that the public can be proud of.

The rail operator we establish through this process will:
  • provide capacity for expected growth in passenger numbers
  • benefit from profits and surpluses being reinvested back into the railway
  • adopt one national visual brand
  • integrate with bus service timetables, with community rail, the new proposed light rail networks and with active travel (walking and cycling)
  • introduce measures to make rail fares more affordable, including a simplified fare structure with the option of an annual fee, paid via the National Smart Card, to cover all journeys throughout Wales
  • have passenger and workforce representatives in its governance structure
  • have a duty to improve communication with passengers through social media and station announcements.

 A Plaid Cymru government will endeavour to secure new trains for our country and are committed to investigating the different options for rolling stock ownership, including owning our own trains. We will secure improvements for the safety of the public on the railway network by improving lighting, CCTV and disabled access to stations, and consulting on an alcohol ban on late-night trains.

At present, rail infrastructure is currently reserved to Westminster, but a Plaid Cymru Government would actively work towards changing this and would aim to electrify all major rail lines by 2034. We will complete the planned electrification of the South Wales Valley Lines. The next line to be electrified should be the North Wales Coast Line.

Plaid will identify locations for new stations across the network.  and will  continue to invest in developing existing rail stations as hubs for wider commercial development and urban regeneration, including retail and co-working/office space.

The Party of Wales will also look to re-open railway lines across Wales to create new links between communities. As part of this Plaid will commission a full feasibility study on the re-opening of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line together with a second phase linking Bangor, Caernarfon and Afon Wen near Pwllheli. Other potential lines such as Gaerwen to Amlwch, and the Amman Valley to Swansea will be studied for viability. A full report will be prepared on railway re-openings and new lines, setting the tone for a long-term expansion of the Welsh railway,

We need the urgent development of a South-East Metro, which will be sympathetic to existing communities. The aim of the Metro is to simplify travel across the region and provide regeneration in some of Wales’ most underdeveloped communities. We will work with local authorities and business to ensure that jobs are created in Valleys communities and that commuting can go in both directions. We want to see a similarly innovative and integrated transport system for the Swansea city region, and for north Wales and will publish these proposals within a year of assuming office.

A prioritised number of rail schemes will be included in the new National Transport Plan that we will consult upon and publish in our first year of government. Plaid Cymru will produce an exciting vision of a Welsh National Railway service, uniting the nation, north and south, country and city, community-to-community.

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