A NUMBER of rail user groups have called for an independent review into Transport for Wales after 'consistently failing to provide an acceptable service'. 

In an open letter written by rail user groups across Wrexham, Flintshire, Cheshire, Shropshire and Merseyside, details of concerns had been raised regarding Transport for Wales' rail service in recent years. 

The groups say that the rail provider has 'consistently failed to deliver an acceptable train service for the passengers we represent'.

They highlighted issues faced by passengers including severe delays, cancellations, overcrowded trains and poor levels of communication. 

The impact of class 175s being taken off the network for maintenance was also a strong point of interest for the rail group. 

The scheduled work was initially set to be completed by March 10, but the trains eventually returned to service on April 3.

The delays were slammed and labelled insulting at the time by Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Ashgar MS.


Now the rail users groups seem to have had enough and are calling for action. 

A spokesperson said: "TfW has fallen well behind the standards of other comparable operators in recovering from the effects of the pandemic, a situation made worse by their concentration of effort in South Wales to the detriment of routes in the North and Borders.

"We believe that an independent review of TfW should be instigated as a matter of urgency, determining where the root cause of the problems lie and what needs to be done to rectify the situation. 

"There is already a chorus of voices saying that the Wrexham-Bidston, and indeed other lines, should be taken over by an operator with a better focus on our region rather than remain with TfW which is both South Wales based and focussed."

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Marie Daly, Chief Customer and Culture Officer at TfW, said: “We share the frustrations of the rail user groups over the historical and on-going issues with the introduction of improved services in North Wales and the North West of England.

“We had hoped to introduce additional services in the region this May, but the major programme to introduce new trains onto our network is taking longer than planned, due to its extremely intricate and complex nature. We’re working incredibly hard with the train manufacturers to introduce new trains as safely and quickly as possible.

“Our ability to increase services is dependent on the number of Class 197 trains available for passenger service. We are fully committed to introducing these services as soon as we have enough of these new trains available and sufficient drivers and conductors trained. 

“Capacity across our network has also been impacted by the on-going maintenance of our Class 175 fleet, but this is improving and more are returning to service following the necessary safety checks.

“Our dedicated Community and Stakeholder Engagement team is keeping the RUGs up to date to ensure we are transparent about the issues being faced and the timeline for improvements.”