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Transport for Wales

10 September 2018

Transport for Wales (TfW) is a not-for-profit company set up by the Wales Government to co-ordinate transport in Wales. Responsibility for and control of the Wales and borders rail franchise currently run by Arriva Trains Wales has been transferred from the Department for Transport to TfW, and TfW then invited bids for a new contract to run these rail services.

 A joint bid to run these rail services made by Keolis (effectively a subsidiary of French state rail company SNCF) in partnership with Amey was successful and a company jointly owned by Keolis and Amey confusingly entitled Transport for Wales Rail Services Ltd will take over services currently run by Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) on 14 October 2018. All ATW staff will transfer to the new company under the provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) on and from that date.

TfW and the new operator have committed to making the following improvements to the rail network in Wales:

· Investment of £738m to transform the valley lines to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney and Coryton, electrifying 172 km of track and upgrading infrastructure to enable improved journey times and more trains every hour.

· From 2023, an £800m investment will ensure that 95% of journeys are on new trains. More than half the trains will be assembled in Wales.

· By December 2023, running an extra 285 (29%) more services every weekday, including improvements on the Ebbw Vale, Cambrian and Heart of Wales lines and the North Wales Metro (Wrexham-Bidston). A new service will link Cardiff and Liverpool via Wrexham.

· On Sundays, an extra 294 (61%) more services will run across Wales by Dec 2019.

· Creating more than 600 new jobs, including 200 new on-train customer service staff, and adding 30 apprenticeships per year.

· Investing £194m in station improvements, and build at least five new stations. A £15m fund will make stations more accessible, and TfL will launch a new app allowing customers requiring assistance to ‘turn up and go’ from April 2020.

· At least 1,500 new car parking spaces will be created.

· Transforming the availability and quality of ticketing facilities by 2023, and introduce Delay Repay for delays of above 15 minutes from January 2019.

· Stations and overhead wires will be powered by 100% renewable energy, with at least 50% sourced in Wales.

· Free end-to-end internet access will be available on 85% of journeys by 2024.

· The introduction of seven new Community Rail Partnerships, the employment of 30 Community and Customer Ambassadors and investing more than £1.25m per year in community activity. Disused station spaces will be transformed to meet local needs.

· Smart ticketing will be rolled out across Wales and the Borders. Validators on the South Wales Metro will enable pay-as-you-go flexible ticketing. Elsewhere, customers will be able to use mobile tickets to ensure they always pay the lowest fare.

· Free travel for under 5s extended to under 11s. Half-price fares extended to 16 – 18 year-olds. Under 16s will go free off peak.

· The installation of more than 700 new customer information screens across the network and in other locations including colleges, hospitals and workplaces.

· Investment in more than 200 new ticket machines, and sell tickets through local convenience stores to improve access.

Further and more detailed information is available at TfW’s website:

http://tfw.gov.wales/

TSSA along with the other rail unions have had a number of meetings with both the Wales Government and Transport for Wales about the changes being introduced to rail services in Wales. The most recent meeting with TfW was on Tuesday 7 August, at which KeolisAmey was present for the first time.

A meeting will be held on 30 August during which ATW union reps will meet with ATW and the new company to begin formal consultation on the transfer of staff under the TUPE Regulations. There will be an 'informal' discussion at a meeting on 13 August.

There will be a ‘soft’ launch of rail services under the new ownership and branding. The branding on trains, stations and future uniforms will be that of Transport for Wales. TfW and the new operator will be discussing with TSSA and other unions how the existing ATW uniform can be suitably branded from day 1 until the delivery of new uniforms.

TfW has committed to consult with the trade unions on the designs for new stations and other new infrastructure.

Both TfW and the new KeolisAmey operator will relocate their HQs to Pontypridd in 2020. TSSA has obtained assurances that for individuals that would be severely affected by this, consideration would be given for those individuals to, where feasible, work from home or a suitable alternative location.

Whilst all ATW staff will transfer on 14 October 2018 to KeolisAmey's Transport for Wales Rail Services Ltd, it is possible that some HQ staff will subsequently transfer again to Transport for Wales.

Transport for Wales has confirmed that Network Rail will in late 2019 be transferring to their ownership and control the Cardiff Bay to Cardiff Queen Street rail route and all lines north from Queen Street. The Network Rail staff that are predominantly aligned with those routes will also transfer. Discussions will take place with TSSA and other Network Rail unions about the implications of that transfer. Network Rail may also transfer the ‘City Line’ to TfW.

The next meeting with TfW and KeolisAmey will be on 22 August.

TSSA has also sought formal recognition to represent staff employed by Transport for Wales and TSSA will be seeking to recruit TfW staff going forward.

TfW is currently recruiting for a number of posts that may be of interest to TSSA members - see their website: http://tfw.gov.wales/about/careers

Members obtaining jobs with TfW should not forget to keep up their TSSA membership!

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