Transport for Wales Minutes and Actions - 10 November 2020

Submitted by positiveUser on Tue, 14/12/2021 - 13:11


Mid and West Wales Regional Forum

Date: 10 November 2020

Time: 10:00 – 12:00

Location: Microsoft Teams



Alex Hinshelwood, Route Asset System and Integration Manager, Network Rail (AH)

Amanda Phillips, Programme and Commissioning Manger, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (AP)

Angela Stradling, Membership and Events Officer, Carmarthenshire Tourism Association (AS)

Ann Elias, Strategic Transport, Growing Mid Wales Partnership, Ceredigion County Council (AE)

Cath Swain, Integrated Transport Unit Manager, Swansea Council (CS)

Ceri Rees, Transport Strategy and Project Coordinator, Pembrokeshire County Council (CR)

Chris Peake, Port Manger, Irish Ferries (CP)

David Beer, Senior Manager (Wales), Transport Focus (DBe)

David Edwards, Chair, Heart of Wales Line Development Company (DE)

Goerge Reid, Director, Carmarthenshire Tourism Association (GR)

Gwilym Dyffri Jones, Provost of the Carmarthen and Lampeter Campuses, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (GDJ)

Jayne Cornelius, Sustainable Travel Officer, Swansea University (JC)

Lisa Denison, Development Manager, Heart of Wales Line Development Company (LD)

Samara Hicks, Modernising Transport Coordinator, Carmarthenshire County Council (SHi)

Samuel Hadley, Head of Communications (Wales), Network Rail (Sha)

Simon Charles, Transport Strategy and Infrastructure Manager, Carmarthenshire County Council (SC)

Steve Hopkins, Tourism and Marketing (SHo)

Thomas Lyndon, Public Affairs Manager, Great Western Railway (TL)


TfW attendees

Andrew Gainsbury, Rolling Stock Manger (AG)

Arron Bevan-John, Community Engagement Officer (Clerk) (ABJ)

Carolyn Hodrien, Community Engagement (CH)

Dafydd Williams, Rail Performance Manager (DW)

Geraint Morgan, Community Rail Manager (South) (GM)

Gethin Jones, Business Support Manager (GJ)

Helen Dale, Community Engagement (HD)

Hugh Evans, Head of Community Rail (HE)

James Price, Chief Executive Officer (JP)

Katie Powis, Stakeholder Manager (Chair) (KP)

Kelsey Barcenilla, Community Engagement (KB)

Lewis Brencher, Director of Communications (LB)

Louis Mertens, Community Engagement (LM)

Lowri Joyce, Stakeholder Manager (LJ)

Silke Boak, Customer Insights Analyst (SB)



Bruce Roberts, Secretary, Swansea Bay Business Club (BR)

Carl Milne, Port Manager, Stena Line (CM)

Davis Beaney, Chair, Carmarthenshire Tourism Association (DBea)

Dennis O’Connor, Tourism Liaison Manager, Pembrokeshire Tourism (DO)

Dr. Rhian Hayward MBE, Chief Executive (Innovation and Enterprise Campus), Aberystwyth University (RH)

Heather Anstey-Myers, Chief Executive, South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce (HAM)

Jennifer Barfoot, Community Rail Partnership Officer, South West Wales Connected (JB)

Liz Williams, Projects and Office Manager, Pembrokeshire Tourism (LW)

Lois Park, Head of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, Transport for Wales (LP)

Zoe Antrobus, Manager, 4theRegion (Host, South West Wales Connected) (ZA)


Note: The following minutes were collated by the secretariat for this forum which was Arron Bevan-John, Community Engagement Officer.

The below is a summary of the presentations and subject matters discussed/questions raised – and not intended to be verbatim of the session.


Item no. 1

Introductions and Apologies

KP welcomed all attendees and introductions were conducted. General housekeeping and technical guidelines were also stated.

KP introduced ABJ as the Community Engagement Officer for the Mid and West Wales region.


Item no. 2

Latest Travel Guidance and Timetabling – Dafydd Williams (DW

DW presented the ongoing changes to travel restrictions in Wales due to the impact of Covid19 and the resulting changes to rail timetabling. A range of updates were highlighted including the impact of the firebreak lockdown, the influences on timetable changes, and variance of service demand compared to the same time in 2019. DW stated stakeholder feedback has been key to providing a new, flexible approach and best quality of service, particularly from schools and colleges. DW also presented timetabling updates for 2021.

LD (verbally) asked about how impact as well as demand was considered as a criteria for restoration of services in the case of rural lines. DW explained that Covid19 has had and is continuing to have an impact across the network. DW went on further to confirm that discussions with stakeholders will continue via the stakeholder team to understand demand and to help shape future timetable uplifts. KP explained that it has been a difficult time for the Heart of Wales Line (HoWL) with several incidents, as well as Covid19, having an impact on services and confirmed that she would continue to engage with stakeholders on this subject matter

JC (via chat) stated that Swansea University would welcome the opportunity to work with Transport for Wales collaboratively to enhance active travel for students and staff at Swansea University as well as improving multi-modal transport links. DW responded (verbally) stating Transport for Wales welcomes the opportunity to collaborate. KP stated (via chat) that a meeting could be set up to discuss this further.

SHo (via chat) stated that the events team at Swansea Council would welcome the opportunity to work with Transport for Wales around service provision for planned concerts, with several events planned next year attracting 15k people plus. SHo also stated that the Swansea digital arena would be opening in spring 2022, attracting people from across Wales to major events in the city. Again, Swansea Council would welcome the opportunity to have discussions to ensure the transport arrangements were in place for people visiting the city for a concert and wanting to get home. DW responded (via chat) to explain that Transport for Wales welcomes the opportunity to work with stakeholders and to speak to KP to ensure the information is incorporated into the annual planning calendar.

Update on the Future of the Wales and Borders Contract – James Price (JP)

JP provided an update on the future of the Wales and Borders rail contract. JP spoke about why the decision has been taken to change the way TfW operates given the serious financial impact Covid19 has had on operating services. JP set out the new delivery and governance model for TfW, including the new operator (a publicly owned subsidiary) in place from February 2021, TfW Rail Limited. JP thanked forum members for their time and wished everybody well.

JC thanked JP for his time and welcomed the opportunity for Swansea University to participate in the forum. JC made suggestions about increasing opportunities for students to use travel by providing flexible ticketing options. JP welcomed these comments and asked that Swansea University is included in discussions on the development stage of the South West Wales Metro. SB explained she welcomed the opportunity to speak to JC on the sensemaker survey and would like to exchange details.

Update on Rolling Stock – Andrew Gainsbury (AG)

AG provided a detailed presentation on rolling stock, with an update on the impact Covid19 has had on the supply chain which has meant some delays with the new fleet. AG confirmed the fleet enhancement programme has continued despite the challenges. AG discussed how crew training has now restarted, with limited capacity, to ensure services are maintained.

LD stated (verbally) that the Heart of Wales Line (HoWL) Community Rail Partnership (CRP) would like to discuss the potential for a flexible carriage to be introduced to the HoWL in 2023 which would accommodate bikes and luggage. AG replied stating that the comments were taken on board and that now is the time to raise these issues about how Transport for Wales can best use its fleet going forward.

DB asked whether there is still scope to input into the design and layout of future rolling stock. AG explained that Covid19 has made it difficult to enable ‘mock-up’ trains to be seen, as they were in Spain but should they be able to be sent to the UK, the opportunity will be made available for stakeholders to have an input

Actions: KP to arrange a meeting with JC outside of the forum.

KP to contact SHo to discuss feeding this information back into the annual planner.

Enable stakeholders to comment on mock-up trains/images when available.


Item no. 3

Rebuilding passenger confidence in public transport post-Covid19 – Lewis Brencher (LB)

LB provided a presentation discussing the importance the role of feedback from stakeholders will have on ensuring demand and expectations are met post-Covid19. LB discussed the Sensemaker Survey insight and then posed two questions to forum members who were asked to split into breakout rooms and provide feedback to the main meeting.

Question 1: What are the major barriers which could stop people returning to public transport post-Covid19?

Forum members discussed the question and provided feedback to forum colleagues in the main room. Discussions included;

• Changes to travel habits and the fact people are now more likely to work from home.

• Confusion about the level of service on offer.

• Confidence concerns as people may not have travelled for significant periods.

• Uncertainty about rules.

Question 2: What can we all do as partners to encourage use of public transport in the future?

Forum members discussed the question and provided feedback to forum colleagues in the main room. Discussions included;

• Reassuring customers that trains and stations are being thoroughly cleaned regularly.

• A need for joined-up public transport to make journeys easier.

• Highlighting value for money/options to save money on travel through flexible tickets, loyalty schemes and cheaper advance booking.

• Providing travellers with options for the ‘last mile’ e.g. bikes and maps for walking routes.

LB thanked forum members for their time

Actions: Stakeholder feedback will be utilised to help shape plans. A separate feedback report that collates the input from this specific workshop and its repeated sessions with other stakeholder groups will be available in early 2021 and shared at future forums.


Item no. 4

Update on Llangennech Recovery Work – Samuel Hadley and Alex Hinshelwood (Network Rail)

SHa provided an update on the derailment incident which happened at Llangennech in the late summer. SHa provided an overview of the response Network Rail had been delivering in conjunction with partner services, namely local community members, elected representatives, Carmarthenshire County Council, Natural Resources Wales, British Transport Police and Transport for Wales, to ensure stakeholders are being kept fully informed.

AH explained the clean-up operation at Llangennech is now largely complete, with ongoing environmental monitoring of the area continuing throughout the winter and into the spring. The track repairs and safety checks should be completed in early 2021, meaning the southern part of the Heart of Wales Line can reopen.

LD stated (via chat) that she had heard cockle pickers still had concerns about the ongoing environmental impact of the incident. SHa stated he would feed this back to colleagues at Natural Resources Wales.

Action: SHa to feed the comments back.


Item no. 5

Future forum items/AOB

KP stated that TfW would welcome suggestions from forum members for agenda items at the next forum and future forum meetings.

KP thanked forum members for their attendance and wished everybody well.

The next forum is proposed to be held in February/March 2021.