Building on the third of million seats added in May, Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) have squeezed another 125,000 seats a year from their limited number of trains through further efficiency improvements. Arriva Trains Wales is responding to continued growth in passenger numbers by increasing the number of carriages and seats available on trains as well as providing some new/extended services, targeted at trains and times of highest demand.
The following improvements are planned to begin on Mondays to Saturdays and started on September 17th 2012, and are over and above the funded requirements set out in ATW’s franchise;
An extra 142 daily seats into Manchester in the morning commuter period from Chester via Warrington
New direct journeys between Manchester, Bangor and Holyhead.
An extra 148 daily seats on the busiest trains between Cardiff and Manchester
An extra 74 daily seats on the busiest evening peak train between Cardiff, Swansea and Milford Haven
Extra 160 daily seats daily for passengers commuting into Swansea on Swanline services during the morning peak period.
These new improvements have been provided in addition to the contractual requirements in Arriva Train’s Wales’ Franchise Agreement and represent a substantial investment to improve comfort for ATW passengers.
Mike Bagshaw, Commercial Director at Arriva Trains Wales commented:
“We are delighted to be able to deliver this further investment in additional capacity and new journey opportunities. Arriva Trains Wales remains committed to the enhancement of services above and beyond our franchise commitments. In excess of 125,000 extra seats a year will be provided in response to rising customer demand, reflecting a significant investment by Arriva in the future of rail services throughout Wales and the English Borders. This is in addition to the 340, 000 extra seats that were introduced in May.
“We will continue to work hard to deliver the most from our limited number of trains, and will maximise the use of these resources for the benefit of our passengers.”
The implementation of the Welsh Government’s recently announced new North-South express service, will result in the Premier service having a new departure time of 1821. The exiting 1615 departure to Holyhead will be replaced by a 1621 departure to Chester, where onward connections to north Wales can be made.
The 0751 Holyhead to Cardiff services is not included in the West Governments specification for fast North South services, but as part of the package of changes initiated by Arriva Trains Wales, the service will run from Llandudno to Cardiff via Wrexham in the same timings as currently from Llandudno Junction. This will retain a second fast service between North and South Wales.
Customers are reminded that these improvements will result in some alterations to services used on a routine basis and so are advised to check the new timetable information published on the Arriva Trains Wales website (www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/timetables) and to see the relevant posters and publications available at stations on the network.