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Wales nationalises railways after significant drop in passengers

Telegraph reporters
·1-min read
Llangollen railway station
Llangollen railway station

The Welsh Government will nationalise its Wales and Borders rail franchise following a significant drop in passenger numbers.

The Telegraph reported on Wednesday that the devolved administration was poised to take action after bailout talks with franchise holder KeolisAmey failed to agree a privately-led deal.

Transport minister Ken Skates said bringing the franchise under public control would help secure the future of passenger services in Wales, protect jobs and ensure the South Wales Metro project went ahead.

KeolisAmey had run rail services in Wales for just two years after taking over from Arriva Trains Wales.

Mr Skates said: "The last few months have been extremely challenging for public transport in Wales and across the UK. Covid has significantly impacted passenger revenues and the Welsh Government has had to step in with significant support to stabilise the network and keep it running.

Derailed: Train operators bracing for post-virus lull
Derailed: Train operators bracing for post-virus lull

"We have decided to transfer of day-to-day rail services to a new publicly-owned subsidiary of Transport for Wales".

He added: "In Wales we continue a partnership approach between Transport for Wales and KeolisAmey as we work together to protect services for the Welsh public, safeguard jobs and secure the important Metro projects we have been working so hard on over the last few years."