Government out of Touch with Arriva Trains' Victims

January 17, 2007 3:51 PM

Today, Jenny Willott, MP accused the Government of being out of touch with the thousands of people who have to rely on the substandard service offered by Arriva Trains.

Commenting after Welsh Questions in which she asked what plans Welsh Minister, Nick Ainger, had to improve the service provided by Arriva Trains, she said:

"I receive a huge number of complaints from constituents about the appalling service of Arriva trains. For the Government to brush these concerns aside and defend Arriva trains, shows that they can't use the trains very often! Ministers are out of touch they are with the views of everyone in Wales who relies on the train to get to work or the shops.

"Some of the individual cases are shocking. I am aware of trains skipping scheduled station stops in order to make up time, leaving people stranded on the platform and forcing others to get off at the next station.

"I have also had complaints about Arriva providing just 2 or 3 carriages for long-distance trains services, cramming their passengers in to bursting point. Their punctuality record is still terrible and yet despite all this, passengers have been hit with an average increase in fairs of 5.5%, well above the national average.

"How are we to encourage people to cut carbon emissions and congestion by getting out of their cars and into trains if they groan every time they see the name of the operator?

"While their have been some minor improvements, the Government has no grounds to be complacent. The vast majority view of Arriva trains in Wales is miserable and the people of Wales need and deserve much, much better."

Jenny asked the following question today at Welsh Questions:

"As a South Wales MP, I receive a large number of complaints from constituents about Arriva trains, complaining about long delays, cancelled services, services that skip stations when they are running late and overcrowded trains.

"Given that ticket prices are increasing by 5.5% this year, well above the national average, for a service that is well below average, what action has the Minister taken and what plans does he have to improve the service provided by Arriva trains?"

Nick Ainger, Under-Secretary of State for Wales defended Arriva trains performance, saying that they had improved their punctuality times and were investing in their services through extended platforms and longer trains.

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