National Assembly for Wales

Enterprise and Business Committee


Inquiry into the future of the Wales and Borders Rail

Evidence from Catherine Macduff– WBF 41

To the Enterprise Committee
In response to your public consultation about the future of rail services in mid and West Wales, I would like to make two comments:

1. I would like to add my support to the calls for an hourly rail service from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury. As a user of this line, I am aware that there is a consistently large demand for these rail services. Even more useful would be an improvement to the line itself which would cut journey time. At present it takes 2 hours to get from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury, and 3 hours to Birmingham. The distances are not huge and it should be possible to upgrade the speed of these journeys.

2. I am not just concerned with journeys to and from England! I would very much like to see a North - South rail link within Wales. I support the reconstruction of the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line, either by restoring its original route or by rerouting it, depending which is the more feasible option. I am surprised that the Welsh Assembly Government has not made North - South transport links a priority in Wales, politically and socially as a way of unifying the country, and economically as a means of promoting development and trying to keep Welsh spending within Wales. At the moment, transport is focused on the East. Today if I want to have a day return shopping trip I have the choice of Shrewsbury or Birmingham. I would rather be able to choose to go to Cardiff. Cardiff should be benefiting from such business as this.

Yours faithfully,
Catherine Macduff