Welsh rail services among the worst in Britain, report finds
5:01am Monday 9th December 2013 in Gwent news
WALES' rail services are among the worst in Britain, research published today says.
A report, conducted for Campaign for Better Transport by consultants Credo, found Wales has a low number of stations and slow passenger growth.
Benchmarking Rail Services Across Great Britain found the best performing rail services are in London, the South East, North West, West Midlands and Scotland.
Scotrail is a franchise that has been devolved from central government.
But Welsh rail services are still managed from Whitehall and perform much less well in usage, accessibility and satisfaction than those in Scotland.
And Welsh services were ranked second bottom of 11 regions, with only the East of England’s rail service rated lower.
Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "The research exposes the huge disparities in the quality of train services across the country. Importantly, it suggests the answer is to give local administrations more control over their rail networks. By devolving more decision making we can make full use of local knowledge and target investment where it will bring the biggest benefits."
A spokesman for the Department of Transport, Peter Wilkinson, said the study “raises important issues about the relative performance of the rail industry across the UK”.
He said: “There are challenges for all regions in improving the performance of our railways. We, the industry and local government must consider how we best work together to tackle the issues this report raises."
It recommends that each nation develops a plan to address challenges in governance, passenger satisfaction, growth, integration and investment.
And it said rail services in the East of England, Wales and the North East face the greatest but different challenges.
The report found the railways are used frequently in the East of England but the service quality is low. In the North East, quality and satisfaction is high but the service is used by few people.
Welsh train services faced a combination of all the challenges seen in the East of England and the North East, it said.
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