PASSENGERS using the Ebbw Vale to Newport rail/shuttlebus route are being charged more for booking online.
The problem arises because the online booking system doesn’t recognise the connecting bus service between Rogerstone and Newport.
Single tickets booked from Ebbw Vale Parkway to Newport through Arriva Trains Wales’ website or at TheTrainLine.com are charged at £8.90 for a single and day return tickets are £9.80. The w e b s i t e s route people via C a r d i f f Central.
Singles to Cardiff via the web are £5, while d a y returns are £7.
Tickets to Newport can also be bought at Arriva TrainsWales booking offices, from conductors, and on the bus. Buying tickets via one of these options cost £3.80 for a return and £2.70 for a single John Griffiths, AM for Newport East, said: “In part, whether or not the passenger rail link from Ebbw Vale to Newport goes ahead depends on the usage of the bus link.
“Anything that deters or makes it more difficult for people to use that service could undermine the case for the rail link.”
The Argus has campaigned for a rail link between Ebbw Vale and Newport for a decade.
In January the Welsh Government-funded rail link service, run by Stagecoach, was launched between Rogerstone railway station and Newport, as a 12-month trial to gauge demand for direct passenger trains.
Arriva TrainsWales said to put the tickets on the internet would require a further investment, which hasn’t been made.
A spokeswoman for thetrainline.com said: “Thetrainline.com sells train tickets on behalf of train companies across the country including Arriva Trains Wales which operates this route.
“Unfortunately this means we are not able to set train routes or fares for the tickets which are available to customers on our website.”