TRAIN fares in Wales will increase by nearly five per cent next month “in line with the wider rail industry”, the Welsh Government has announced.

Lee Waters MS, deputy climate change minister with a responsibility for transport, said the increase was necessary to facilitate investments such as the new services between Ebbw Vale and Newport.

Mr Waters notes the rise of 4.9 per cent is below inflation.

He said: “Transport for Wales are committed to making it easier for passengers to travel. They are currently trialling brand new Pay As You Go rail fares in South Wales which offer cheaper tap-in, tap-out journeys using a phone or bank card.

“South Wales is the first UK location outside of London where rail passengers can use this turn up and go technology.

“Passengers travelling between Pontyclun, Cardiff and Newport and currently benefitting from this innovation, with a wider rollout initially planned for the South Wales Metro area starting with the Ebbw Vale line this spring.”

'Work in progress'

In a personal blog post this week, published Tuesday, February 6, Mr Waters outlined his vision for a “TfW version 2.0” which was about integrating all forms of public transport and making them the easiest way to make most journeys.

He wrote: “The public service values, the genuine sense of collective mission; all that marks TfW out as ‘different’ is to be cherished.

“We will stick with our model of public ownership and will not be going back to a private sector partnership. Because the model reflects our values too."

TfW is a not-for-profit company owned by the Welsh Government with the stated aim of making sustainable travel a natural choice.

The minister continued: “As Covid proved, these are public services, and the financial risk ultimately always lies with Government, so I don’t want TfW distracted by pointless private sector procurement.

“We want you to focus on growing revenue, not by gaming the system, but by serving more people so that we can reinvest in public transport.

“Let's not pretend TfW is perfect, no organisation is. It’s a work in progress, of course it is.”