Sunday, 31 January 2016

Is devolved transport "off the rails?" Er no.

For some reason the BBC seen to indicate that Wales cannot cope with having control of Transport.

They report that Edwina Hart accused UK officials of "ignorance" amid suggestions passengers could have to change trains on some services between Wales and England.
Responsibility for the Wales and Border network will be devolved in 2017.

A Department of Transport spokesman said no decisions would be made without considering local views.
Services from Aberystwyth to Birmingham and Milford Haven to Manchester via Cardiff, are among routes which could be affected.

In last year's St David's Day agreement, the UK government wrote:

"In order for the secretary of state for transport to ensure proper accountability, it is likely that services primarily serving English markets will be placed into other franchises for which the Secretary of State for Transport is the franchising authority".


Responding to suggestions some passengers may have to change trains on cross-border routes, Mrs Hart said some Whitehall officials "don't actually understand how things work and what are important".
she said
"I base some of their comments on ignorance rather than a conspiracy theory," .

"We want to ensure those services remain within the franchise."
John Rogers from campaign group Railfutures Wales said: 

"It's ludicrous, it's impractical, it's being done behind the scenes with a lot of secrecy initially and we're determined to fight it".
"It's not in the interests of passengers. People hate changing trains, it's a deterrent and it would affect the tourist industry,".

A Department for Transport spokesman said

: "We are working closely with the Welsh government to develop plans for cross-border routes and stations as we move towards devolving the next Wales and Border franchise".
 I suppose  there be be some conflict within some routes but its not as if the world has never seen cross border Train services .

I'm not sure how often the   Milford Haven to Manchester via Cardiff, runs but suspect that few passengers will be travelling from South Pembrokeshire to Manchester by Train.

Services from Aberystwyth to Birmingham already sees a change in Machynlleth as it joins trains from   the  Machynlleth to Pwllheli Coast Line, where Trains are coupled or decoupled depending on direction.

As far as I can see unless travellers to Birmingham will also have to change at Shrewsbury there will be very little change.

It seems that this another story coming from Westminster sources  that suggest that unlike Scotland ,Wales  is incapable of handling any form of new devolution.

The reverse seem to be the Truth and Westminster cannot envisage what different Nations have been doing since the Worldwide growth in rail travel in the 19th century.


  1. You (and the BBC) shouldn't call it the St David's Day "Agreement". It was an announcement by a Tory Secretary of State for Wales which none of the other parties agreed with.

  2. Perhaps they think there'll be a problem with the steam engines from Wales!