Rhondda AM Leanne Wood has put pressure on the Welsh Government after pictures emerged of an overcrowded train carriage full of school children in her constituency.
The comments were made after a photo emerged of pupils of Treorci Comprehensive School tightly packed together while on their way to school. Pupils unable to get on the carriage are faced with the choice of a 30 minute wait for the next train or a lengthy walk.
In a tweet directed at the Labour Economy and Transport Minister, Ken Skates, Leanne said the situation was “unacceptable.”
Ms Wood added the frequently packed services on the Valleys lines underlined the need for the Labour administration to ensure that the next rail franchise for Wales does make the same mistakes as the current one which failed to provide for growing demand.
“Overcrowding is a familiar problem for anyone who uses the Valleys Lines,” said Ms Wood. “I know it is also nothing new for the many pupils of Treorci Comprehensive School who rely on the service on a daily basis. When you see children pressed up against each other because carriages are so full it is distressing for all concerned, especially for parents of the children.
“Parents, who pay for this service, are angry and rightly so. Some have been in touch this week on the matter. I have had meetings with Arriva Trains Wales in the past where it was pledged that valleys trains would become more of a priority for extra carriages. Unfortunately we are still seeing carriages that are full to the point of being uncomfortable.”
She added: “All these problems and the subsequent customer dissatisfaction underlines the need for the next franchise to be absolutely spot on. The last franchise did not have any provision for passenger growth or extra train capacity, and that is big part of why we are where we are now. That mistake cannot happen again and it is incumbent on the Labour Government in Wales to get it right.”
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