A SERIES of commitments for the next Wales and Borders franchise have been made by the Welsh Government, the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has announced.

Following discussions, begun by Wales TUC, the commitments mean Wales, its passengers and its rail staff can move ahead with confidence as the Welsh Government’s plans for the future Wales & Borders Rail Service gathers pace.

A spokeswoman for the Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "The expectation is there will be more staff, not less employed on the franchise.

"There are rapid changes in railway technology which can improve service and efficiency but the Welsh Government recognise that passengers value personal service and want this technology to complement staff and not replace them."

The spokeswoman said the Welsh Government has committed to keep a safety critical conductor on all of the Wales & Borders trains.

Carwyn Jones said: “Our hard working railway staff are a major asset in delivering a modern and safe railway and it is right that they are central to our ambitious plans for the new Wales & Border Services and South Wales Metro.

“I am therefore delighted that we have been able to have such positive and constructive discussions with the railway trade unions, something I have been keen to ensure from the offset."