Devolve Wales’ rail franchise – AMs

South Wales Argus: Devolve Wales’ rail franchise – AMs Devolve Wales’ rail franchise – AMs

THE way in which the company who runs the bulk of Wales’ railway services should be in the hands of Wales, a cross-party group of AMs have said.

The Assembly’s Enterprise and Business committee has called on the Welsh Government to continue to lobby politicians in Westminister so it can become responsible for the next Wales and Borders rail franchise.

It was one of a number of requests made in a charter from the committee which said the Welsh Government should ensure it has sufficient resources and staff in place to develop the new franchise.

Nick Ramsay, Monmouth AM for the enterprise and business committee, said: “We believe that there is a real opportunity for the Welsh Government to shape a service that will respond to the needs of passengers in the Wales and Borders area.

“By establishing strict requirements for stations, facilities and performance monitoring, as well as financial transparency regarding profits and subsidies, the next franchise has the potential to significantly improve rail services for passengers while delivering value for money.

“We also want to see a franchise which is integrated with other public transport services including the proposed South Wales Metro and bus infrastructure.”

The next franchise is due to begin in 2018.

The charter calls on the Welsh Government to continue to lobby the UK for the necessary powers and requisite funding to be devolved so that the Welsh Government is responsible for specifying and procuring the next Wales and Borders Franchise.

AMs also call for the development and publication as a matter of urgency of a strategy on rolling stock – the trains that operate services.

The charter says this would be not only to ensure pressing decisions on rolling stock compatibility for electrification and legislation on accessibility are taken in good time, but also to enhance future capacity and quality of trains for the long term.

Comments (13)

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10:15am Thu 12 Dec 13

exrisca says...

Yes, and make it a not for profit company so that all money goes into improving the system.
Yes, and make it a not for profit company so that all money goes into improving the system. exrisca

10:15am Thu 12 Dec 13

Vox Dei says...

One word: NO.
One word: NO. Vox Dei

10:34am Thu 12 Dec 13

_Bryan_ says...

Something else for the WAG to get involved in and take their slice of the beaureaucratic pie.

Considering the success the WAG have made of Healthcare and Education, I'd prefer the railways to remain in private hands if you don't mind.
Something else for the WAG to get involved in and take their slice of the beaureaucratic pie. Considering the success the WAG have made of Healthcare and Education, I'd prefer the railways to remain in private hands if you don't mind. _Bryan_

11:58am Thu 12 Dec 13

p stani says...

How about devolving the welsh government,that would be a great start for wales.
How about devolving the welsh government,that would be a great start for wales. p stani

12:30pm Thu 12 Dec 13

BassalegCountyFan says...

exrisca wrote:
Yes, and make it a not for profit company so that all money goes into improving the system.
100% agreed
Bring Back British Rail- the days when we, the British people, owned our own railways rather than various multnational corporations like First and Virgin milking the profits.
[quote][p][bold]exrisca[/bold] wrote: Yes, and make it a not for profit company so that all money goes into improving the system.[/p][/quote]100% agreed Bring Back British Rail- the days when we, the British people, owned our own railways rather than various multnational corporations like First and Virgin milking the profits. BassalegCountyFan

12:41pm Thu 12 Dec 13

whatintheworld says...

BassalegCountyFan wrote:
exrisca wrote: Yes, and make it a not for profit company so that all money goes into improving the system.
100% agreed Bring Back British Rail- the days when we, the British people, owned our own railways rather than various multnational corporations like First and Virgin milking the profits.
Rail companies have siphoned off profits to shareholders for years.

Especially in Wales, there has been a lack of investment in infrastructure.

Why not have the rails in public hands? It's how it used to be run
[quote][p][bold]BassalegCountyFan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]exrisca[/bold] wrote: Yes, and make it a not for profit company so that all money goes into improving the system.[/p][/quote]100% agreed Bring Back British Rail- the days when we, the British people, owned our own railways rather than various multnational corporations like First and Virgin milking the profits.[/p][/quote]Rail companies have siphoned off profits to shareholders for years. Especially in Wales, there has been a lack of investment in infrastructure. Why not have the rails in public hands? It's how it used to be run whatintheworld

12:46pm Thu 12 Dec 13

heresphil says...

While the WAG buying an airport used by a minority of the Welsh population was a bad strategic decision, taking over the trains and the tracks would make far more sense, as long as they are run by an arms length not for profit body rather than direct ministerial control. This would allow greater innovation and greater freedom to invest without a large chunk of revenues having to be syphoned off to shareholders and the UK Government alike.
While the WAG buying an airport used by a minority of the Welsh population was a bad strategic decision, taking over the trains and the tracks would make far more sense, as long as they are run by an arms length not for profit body rather than direct ministerial control. This would allow greater innovation and greater freedom to invest without a large chunk of revenues having to be syphoned off to shareholders and the UK Government alike. heresphil

12:53pm Thu 12 Dec 13

BassalegCountyFan says...

_Bryan_ wrote:
Something else for the WAG to get involved in and take their slice of the beaureaucratic pie.

Considering the success the WAG have made of Healthcare and Education, I'd prefer the railways to remain in private hands if you don't mind.
I have to take issue with that statement Bryan - surely there's no bigger example of a shambles than the privatization of the railways.

It's brought us smaller, cramped trains (extra or even adequate carriages at rush hour are obviously an expense too far for the likes of Richard Branson), unparalled inefficiency (since privatization train passengers now endure nearly 2 million minutes of delays a year), understaffing of trains and ticket offices and longer hours for less pay for railway staff (look at the case of Arriva over the last two years), ticket prices have rocketed while the price of failure by private companies has been bourne by the public (a prime example of this was the West Coast Main Line fiasco last year), and we now have a criss-cross, jumbled system where various private companies compete against each other to run different connecting services. It's a farce.

Re-nationalisation of the railways would be a guaranteed vote-winner - according to two polls last year, support for renationalisation is between 75 and 93% amongst the public. We need a government with the courage to speak out against greed and side with the British people on this issue.
[quote][p][bold]_Bryan_[/bold] wrote: Something else for the WAG to get involved in and take their slice of the beaureaucratic pie. Considering the success the WAG have made of Healthcare and Education, I'd prefer the railways to remain in private hands if you don't mind.[/p][/quote]I have to take issue with that statement Bryan - surely there's no bigger example of a shambles than the privatization of the railways. It's brought us smaller, cramped trains (extra or even adequate carriages at rush hour are obviously an expense too far for the likes of Richard Branson), unparalled inefficiency (since privatization train passengers now endure nearly 2 million minutes of delays a year), understaffing of trains and ticket offices and longer hours for less pay for railway staff (look at the case of Arriva over the last two years), ticket prices have rocketed while the price of failure by private companies has been bourne by the public (a prime example of this was the West Coast Main Line fiasco last year), and we now have a criss-cross, jumbled system where various private companies compete against each other to run different connecting services. It's a farce. Re-nationalisation of the railways would be a guaranteed vote-winner - according to two polls last year, support for renationalisation is between 75 and 93% amongst the public. We need a government with the courage to speak out against greed and side with the British people on this issue. BassalegCountyFan

1:04pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Sometimes says...

Renationalising the railways won't improve them, the reason why they were privatised was due to the incompetent way they were run under nationalisation, there was also the unions that believed they ran the railways and walked out when they didn't get their way. Making it a not for profit organisation won't change things either, look at Welsh Water, they are run as a not for profit organisation and yet their bills rise above inflation every year!

Nationalisation won't bring in the investment and won't lower fares and anyone who thinks it will is delusional.
Renationalising the railways won't improve them, the reason why they were privatised was due to the incompetent way they were run under nationalisation, there was also the unions that believed they ran the railways and walked out when they didn't get their way. Making it a not for profit organisation won't change things either, look at Welsh Water, they are run as a not for profit organisation and yet their bills rise above inflation every year! Nationalisation won't bring in the investment and won't lower fares and anyone who thinks it will is delusional. Sometimes

1:16pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Woodgnome says...

Sometimes wrote:
Renationalising the railways won't improve them, the reason why they were privatised was due to the incompetent way they were run under nationalisation, there was also the unions that believed they ran the railways and walked out when they didn't get their way. Making it a not for profit organisation won't change things either, look at Welsh Water, they are run as a not for profit organisation and yet their bills rise above inflation every year!

Nationalisation won't bring in the investment and won't lower fares and anyone who thinks it will is delusional.
Nationalisation wont happen - where would the cash come from? Have folks forgotten the nation is out of cash, a situation inherited from the last govt. We are told daily of further major cut backs in public spending. It would cost an awful lot more than buying the airport - also with cash we didn't have.
[quote][p][bold]Sometimes[/bold] wrote: Renationalising the railways won't improve them, the reason why they were privatised was due to the incompetent way they were run under nationalisation, there was also the unions that believed they ran the railways and walked out when they didn't get their way. Making it a not for profit organisation won't change things either, look at Welsh Water, they are run as a not for profit organisation and yet their bills rise above inflation every year! Nationalisation won't bring in the investment and won't lower fares and anyone who thinks it will is delusional.[/p][/quote]Nationalisation wont happen - where would the cash come from? Have folks forgotten the nation is out of cash, a situation inherited from the last govt. We are told daily of further major cut backs in public spending. It would cost an awful lot more than buying the airport - also with cash we didn't have. Woodgnome

2:56pm Thu 12 Dec 13

_Bryan_ says...

BassalegCountyFan wrote:
_Bryan_ wrote: Something else for the WAG to get involved in and take their slice of the beaureaucratic pie. Considering the success the WAG have made of Healthcare and Education, I'd prefer the railways to remain in private hands if you don't mind.
I have to take issue with that statement Bryan - surely there's no bigger example of a shambles than the privatization of the railways. It's brought us smaller, cramped trains (extra or even adequate carriages at rush hour are obviously an expense too far for the likes of Richard Branson), unparalled inefficiency (since privatization train passengers now endure nearly 2 million minutes of delays a year), understaffing of trains and ticket offices and longer hours for less pay for railway staff (look at the case of Arriva over the last two years), ticket prices have rocketed while the price of failure by private companies has been bourne by the public (a prime example of this was the West Coast Main Line fiasco last year), and we now have a criss-cross, jumbled system where various private companies compete against each other to run different connecting services. It's a farce. Re-nationalisation of the railways would be a guaranteed vote-winner - according to two polls last year, support for renationalisation is between 75 and 93% amongst the public. We need a government with the courage to speak out against greed and side with the British people on this issue.
British Rail was so dire that even their own advertising slogan was "We're getting there". Although I agree that the process of privatisation was shambolic and there have been some steep price rises, there has also been a drastic improvement in the quality of the trains in use and an enviable safety record.

As for "surely there's no bigger example of a shambles than the privatization of the railways" could I point you in the direction of the WAG, an organisation so shambolic it could be used as an example when defining the very meaning of the word.
[quote][p][bold]BassalegCountyFan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]_Bryan_[/bold] wrote: Something else for the WAG to get involved in and take their slice of the beaureaucratic pie. Considering the success the WAG have made of Healthcare and Education, I'd prefer the railways to remain in private hands if you don't mind.[/p][/quote]I have to take issue with that statement Bryan - surely there's no bigger example of a shambles than the privatization of the railways. It's brought us smaller, cramped trains (extra or even adequate carriages at rush hour are obviously an expense too far for the likes of Richard Branson), unparalled inefficiency (since privatization train passengers now endure nearly 2 million minutes of delays a year), understaffing of trains and ticket offices and longer hours for less pay for railway staff (look at the case of Arriva over the last two years), ticket prices have rocketed while the price of failure by private companies has been bourne by the public (a prime example of this was the West Coast Main Line fiasco last year), and we now have a criss-cross, jumbled system where various private companies compete against each other to run different connecting services. It's a farce. Re-nationalisation of the railways would be a guaranteed vote-winner - according to two polls last year, support for renationalisation is between 75 and 93% amongst the public. We need a government with the courage to speak out against greed and side with the British people on this issue.[/p][/quote]British Rail was so dire that even their own advertising slogan was "We're getting there". Although I agree that the process of privatisation was shambolic and there have been some steep price rises, there has also been a drastic improvement in the quality of the trains in use and an enviable safety record. As for "surely there's no bigger example of a shambles than the privatization of the railways" could I point you in the direction of the WAG, an organisation so shambolic it could be used as an example when defining the very meaning of the word. _Bryan_

5:14pm Thu 12 Dec 13

blackandamber says...

Any chance of linking Rogerstone and Newport by rail yet.
Any chance of linking Rogerstone and Newport by rail yet. blackandamber

12:12pm Fri 13 Dec 13

BassalegCountyFan says...

I've got a couple of responses to some of the above comments:

Bryan - I completely disagree with your statement that 'there has been a drastic improvement in the quality of the trains in use', and would argue that in fact the opposite has happened since privatization. The likes of Arriva and Northern Rail still use carriages from the 1970's and 80's, and all too often trains these days are stuffy, cramped and understaffed. For example, in the summer I boarded a Virgin Train from Crewe to Preston at around 2pm (far from rush hour) which was absolutely packed to the rafters. Myself and around 15 others (including a lady in her eighties and a familes with children) were packed like sardines into a small passage between carriages. It was absolutely boiling with no air conditioning to speak of. It was privatization in a nutshell - Richard Branson made a fortune out of that journey, but the service itself was appalling. The worst thing is that these sort of scenarios are commonplace - I've seen two ladies faint on the same Neath to Newport train because of the unbearable heat on arriva trains.
I also take issue with the your comments on the Welsh Assembly - for its flaws, there are also great positives. From personal experience, I wouldn't have been able to get a degree without the subsidy they provided for students staying in Wales, and I know many people of all ages who have benefitted from free prescriptions. When I meet English relatives they always comment on this being something that should be introduced over the border.

Woodgnome and sometimes - Actually, privatization has been far more costly to the British tax payer than the tories like to admit. Look at the West Coast Mainline fiasco last year - the actions of private rail companies cost the British taxpayer over 50 million pounds. More to the point, one of the most profitable railway lines over recent years has been the East Coast Mainline - which is publically owned.
I've got a couple of responses to some of the above comments: Bryan - I completely disagree with your statement that 'there has been a drastic improvement in the quality of the trains in use', and would argue that in fact the opposite has happened since privatization. The likes of Arriva and Northern Rail still use carriages from the 1970's and 80's, and all too often trains these days are stuffy, cramped and understaffed. For example, in the summer I boarded a Virgin Train from Crewe to Preston at around 2pm (far from rush hour) which was absolutely packed to the rafters. Myself and around 15 others (including a lady in her eighties and a familes with children) were packed like sardines into a small passage between carriages. It was absolutely boiling with no air conditioning to speak of. It was privatization in a nutshell - Richard Branson made a fortune out of that journey, but the service itself was appalling. The worst thing is that these sort of scenarios are commonplace - I've seen two ladies faint on the same Neath to Newport train because of the unbearable heat on arriva trains. I also take issue with the your comments on the Welsh Assembly - for its flaws, there are also great positives. From personal experience, I wouldn't have been able to get a degree without the subsidy they provided for students staying in Wales, and I know many people of all ages who have benefitted from free prescriptions. When I meet English relatives they always comment on this being something that should be introduced over the border. Woodgnome and sometimes - Actually, privatization has been far more costly to the British tax payer than the tories like to admit. Look at the West Coast Mainline fiasco last year - the actions of private rail companies cost the British taxpayer over 50 million pounds. More to the point, one of the most profitable railway lines over recent years has been the East Coast Mainline - which is publically owned. BassalegCountyFan

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