A group of Mid Wales town councils have labelled the overcrowding on trains in the area as “unsafe” as Transport for Wales looks to bring in new carriages.

The North and Mid Wales Association of Local Councils carried out a number of surveys to assess overcrowding on trains throughout August and September.

The association says that they are concerned over the overcrowding situation on trains, particularly throughout the Cambrian line, and feel that Transport for Wales upcoming proposal to replace trains on the line with new carriages will make do more harm than good.

Llanfair Caereinion Town Clerk and association member Robert Robinson said: “We can say they have gone from overcrowded to unsafe, as they are overloaded to such an extent, with nothing being done to mitigate it.

“Transport for Wales were very accommodating in letting us carry out the surveys. But I hope they take the results of the survey into account as well.


“The situation is like a bomb about to go off, as it’s simply not good enough in this day and age.

“I’m aware that labelling them ‘unsafe’ is a serious statement, but we are prepared to stand behind it.”

Mr Robinson added that the North and Mid Wales Association of Local Councils were concerned with the proposed new trains.

He added: “Across Wales we have new trains coming, but they are small commuter trains with less space to sit and a reduced length. They are simply not suitable for long distance journeys. I think if we bring in these new trains, we should also retain the existing trains on the Cambrian line.”

Get in touch

Share your views on this story by sending a letter to the editor. To get in touch email news@countytimes.co.uk, or fill in the form on this section of our website.

Mr Robinson also said that the survey had been sent to the Welsh Minister for Transport and the North and Mid Wales Association of Local Councils had arranged to meet at a later date.

A spokesperson for Transport for Wales said: “We are pleased to see overall customer satisfaction of services on the routes surveyed was generally positive and we are already addressing some of the concerns raised by the group.

“TfW is transforming the Wales and Borders network and investing more than £800m into brand new trains which have started to be introduced to our network.

“On the Cambrian line, our brand-new CAF Class 197 trains will enable us to increase capacity by running more frequent trains from 2025. In the meantime, we’re working with Network Rail as part of our innovative 'Local Railway' partnership to speed up improvements on the route, which included the use of four-carriage trains on the Cambrian Line this summer for the first time in six years.

“The new trains will have more bike spaces, allow easier access to/from the train and provide an overall improvement to the customer experience. In response to customer feedback about our current fleet, we’ve ensured the Class 197 units feature a much more modern and reliable air conditioning system.

“These new trains need to work with the special signalling system on the Cambrian and therefore we need to carry out a gradual swap over of the trains on this route. The pandemic has had an impact on our original timescales, but we’re progressing at pace.”