First Great Western cuts its Welsh services

28 November 2006

General Secretary Keith Norman has condemned cuts by First Great Western (FGW) to cut services in Wales as ‘immoral, mean and discriminatory’. The decision to axe the 1718 from Cardiff Central - one of the best-used trains from Cardiff to Swansea - has sparked claims that First Group are only interested in London-Cardiff trains, and that it has little interest in the rest of the principality.

 

The train is used by 300 people west of Cardiff – but after December 11, they will have to wait for the 1738 Arriva Trains Wales (AWT) service from Cardiff - with just over 100 seats and already a busy train.

 

A statement from First Great Western said carrying passengers within Wales was ‘not its job’.

 

The Welsh Assembly meanwhile accuses Westminster of transferring the funding burden from London to Cardiff on the basis that while FGW's new franchise is funded by central Government, ATW is funded by the Assembly Government. ATW may therefore face pressure to provide extra seats for passengers left high and dry by FGW.

 

‘ASLEF is fed up with these constant lunacies caused by the sale of rail and the break up of the national rail network,’ Keith Norman says. ‘In Wales there is no doubt that passengers are paying more for a worse service. It is ridiculous that we complain about road traffic levels between Cardiff and Swansea and then create a situation where there is no train between the cities from 1705 until 1738 – and that one’s full.

 

‘There is no concern for the passenger – bar an interest in his purse.’

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