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TSSA meet Welsh Government Transport Minister

6 November 2012

TSSA's General Secretary Manuel Cortes and a delegation of Welsh members recently met with Carl Sergeant AM, the Welsh GovernmentÂ’s Minister for Transport.

Welsh Minister

The Minister, who spoke at TSSA’s annual conference in the spring, discussed a whole range of transport issues with TSSA, first on the list being the upcoming decision on passenger services in Wales after the Arriva Trains franchise expires in 2018.

Welsh Labour’s 2011 manifesto committed to examine the prospects of running the franchise on a not-for- dividend basis – via a co-operative, social enterprise or other model – via the current franchising framework. A widespread review of the next franchise and the future of Welsh rail in general is expected to be conducted in the coming months.

Members discussed the impending electrification of the South Wales main line and the Valley Lines network and whether any new line re-extensions or re- openings would be put in place as part of the plans. The Welsh Government has in recent years re-opened several lines from which passenger services disappeared under the Beeching Axe, but some, such as Ebbw Vale terminate short of the town centre. The Minister agreed that such extensions were their aim, but the reduction in funding provided by Westminster now made such projects very difficult.

The Minister said that with electrification came a range of new possibilities, including exciting ideas around metro-style light rail vehicles serving the Cardiff area. In a sign of the different approach taken by the Labour administration in Cardiff Bay, it was the minister who proposed holding regular meetings with the Association, something members were keen to take up.

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