Transport for Wales Minutes and Actions - 3 November 2020

Submitted by positiveUser on Tue, 14/12/2021 - 10:51

Minutes and Actions

North and Mid Wales Regional Forum

Date: 3 November 2020

Time: 10:00 – 12:00

Location: Microsoft Teams



Stephanie Smith, Senior Public & Community Transport Officer (SS)

Rhian Wyn Williams, Gwynedd County Council (RW)

Val Hawkins, Chief Executive MWT Cymru Mid Wales Tourism (VH)

Ann Elias, Strategic Transport Officer, Growing Mid Wales Partnership-Strategic Transport (AE)

Iwan Prys Jones, Programme Manager, North Wales Economic Board (IPJ)

Gerard Rhodes, Strategic Transport Service, Cheshire West and Chester Council (GR)

Karen Williams, Community Rail Officer, Conwy Valley Line (KW)

Andrew Mytton, Public Transport Officer, Wrexham County Council (AM)

Andrew Saunders, Surface Access Strategy Manager, Manchester Airport (AS)

Sean Croshaw, Strategic Rail Manager, Transport for Greater Manchester Robin Tudor, Head of PR and Communications, Liverpool Airport (RT)

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

Tony Caine, Traffic and Travel Manager, Powys County Council (TC)

Tracey Messner, Public Affairs Manager, Network Rail (TM)

Dylan Gallanders, Support and Executive Engagement, Community Transport Association

Bryn Jones, Head of Knowledge Exchange, Bangor University (BJ)

Iwan Cadwaladr, Ynys Mon County Council (IC)

Michelle Clarke, Project Co-ordinator NW, Community Transport Association (MC)

Ceri Hansom, Integrated Transport Unit Manager, Flintshire Council (CH)

Vincent Goodwin, Travel Officer, Powys County Council Jamie Sant, Community Rail Officer, Wrexham Bidston Robert Gravelle, Accessibility and Inclusion Manager, TfW Rail (RG)

Rachel Penman, Head of Service (Strategy) Wrexham County Council (RP)

Claire Williams, Community Rail Officer, Cambrian Line (CW)


TFW attendees

Lowri Joyce, Stakeholder Manager Chair (LJ)

Andrew Gainsbury, Rolling Stock Manger (AG)

Arron Bevan-John, Community Engagement Officer (ABJ)

Carolyn Hodrien, Community Engagement (CH)

Dafydd Williams, Rail Performance Manager (DW)

Gethin Jones, Business Support Manager (GJ)

Helen Dale, Community Engagement (HD)

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)

Katie Powis, Stakeholder Manager (KM)

Melanie Lawton, Community Rail Manager (North) (ML)

Mathew Howells, Senior Transport Modeller (North) (MH)



Steve Whitley, Head of Operations Strategy, TFW Rail Services

Nick Smith, Regional Growth Manager, Avanti West Coast

David Jones integrated Transport

Dave Whall, Stena Line

Prof P Spencer, Dean of College or Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Bangor University

Note: The following minutes were collated by the secretariat for this forum, which was Carolyn Hodrien, 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 & Apologies – Lowri Joyce (LJ) Transport for Wales Introductions were made via the Chat function on Teams. Apologies were received from Nick Smith, Steve Whitley, David Jones, Prof Paul Spencer, Dave Whall

LJ confirmed general housekeeping for the meeting and introduced the role of Carolyn Hodrien, Community Engagement Officer


Item no. 2

Latest travel restrictions - Dafydd Williams, (DW) Performance Analysis, Transport for Wales DW presented information on timetabling and how Covid-19 impacting rail delivery.

Karen Williams asked about the plans post firebreak for reinstating the Conwy Valley Line timetable. (via chat) DW responded (via chat) that the plan is to reinstate these services from Monday 9th November. If there are any resource constraints from available drivers or conductors, this will be replaced by a rail replacement service.

Karen Williams, Ann Elias and David Beer queried (via Chat) when methods of working would be revisited to allow stations to be reopened, particularly on the North Wales Coast and the Cambrian Line

Lewis Brencher (LB) responded (via chat) that TfW are having regular engagement with Trade Union partners on this issue, and whilst several stations have already been reinstated there are some that still need resolving. DW added (via chat) that it is the priority for TfW to unlock the stations with the trade unions. LJ has been ensuring all feedback related to the short platforms are being fed through to the national executive at trade unions to ensure this is a priority on a weekly basis. Any updates received to progress with reinstating these stations will be communicated by LJ.

Update on the Future of the Wales and Borders Contract - James Price, (JP) Chief Executive Officer, Transport for Wales presented an update on the future of the Wales and Borders rail contract.

Sean Croshaw queried (via chat) if the change to the operational structure will provide more opportunity for closer working with stakeholders in making the case for service improvements for crossborder or English passenger flows?

Gerard Rhodes asked (via chat) how the new governance model would positively impact on opportunities with the Department for Transport.

LB responded (via chat) that whilst TfW already work closely with colleagues in Keolis Amey the new structure will allow TfW to work even more closely with stakeholders. Engagement will continue to be a critical way to prioritise and improve services. The changes will not affect any of our current collaborative working commitments with borders stakeholders and the UK Department for Transport.

Lois Park (LP) added (via chat) that TfW are keen to continue cross border relations and that the new structure will not impact this in a negative way. All partners need to work together to navigate a way through the pandemic and increase demand for public transport so that improvements can continue across the Wales and Borders network

David Beer asked about the medium to long term plans for investment and whether they would still be going ahead. JP responded that plans for rolling stock were going ahead as they have already been ordered and cannot change and that metro projects are also going ahead. JP stated that it is important to increase revenue so that other projects can be delivered without Govt support.

Update on rolling stock - Andrew Gainsbury, (AG) Rolling Stock Manager delivered a presentation on rolling stock

Ann Elias queried (via chat) if there was an opportunity to discuss internal layout of the Class 197s and Gerard Rhodes asked (via chat) if there were any clauses that enable cost recovery from the suppliers if performance should not meet reasonable expectations and cause significant adverse impacts on passengers on new rolling stock.

AG stated (via chat) that the interior of the trains has been carefully designed to provide a balance of wide doorways, good wheelchair space, bike/pushchair space and comfortable seating. In addition, many services should see longer formation trains. AG stated that he would be happy to arrange a separate discussion to talk through the layout of the class 197 fleet.

AG confirmed (via chat) that the contractual arrangements with providers include strict requirements around reliability, availability, journey time, fuel consumption etc. All these requirements have financial penalties if not met. Also, all new fleets have strict testing requirements that require a level of 'fault free running' before the trains are accepted.

Sean Croshaw queried the impact of the loss of the mark 3 sets and whether the new units would have sufficient capacity for the North Wales peak services in Manchester. A query was also raised about NR decarbonisation strategy and what it meant to the rolling stock

AG responded that there will be 26 three car sets with the 197’s and which will enable increase of capacity. With regards to decarbonisation, conversations will continue for improvements post covid-19 and that the use of hybrid powerpacks to add to the fleet is being investigated.

DW added that there was a potential to extend to 5 carriages between Chester and Manchester, however, there are a few stations that cannot accommodate this as longer platforms are needed. This can be revisited post covid-19

Action: AG/DW to investigate information about capacity of rolling stock into Manchester – conversation to be continued with Sean Croshaw


Item no. 3


Rebuilding passenger confidence in public transport post-covid-19 Lewis Brencher, (LB) Director of Communications. LB presented regional feedback from TfW’s most recent survey

TfW Sensemaker Survey

Workshop feedback for question one: What are the major barriers which could stop people returning to public transport post COVID?

• Fear and anticipation of being in crowded situation at stations and on trains. This may particularly apply to the older generation and those who were shielding.

• Peoples acceptance of crowding, eg standing on trains has changed

• There is a need for a sustained, mainstream advertising campaign backed up by data to inform the public.

• Easy to use integrated and affordable ticketing

• Establish travel paths to bring the public back from car travel

• The need for travel has changed, more people are working from home and using home deliveries for shopping

• Challenge of winter – people are less likely to use transport for days out in the winter months

• Insufficient Rolling Stock

• Need to change people's perception of cleanliness on trains and promote the cleaning regime

• When a customer users the train any bad experience they have, that bad experience will stay with them forever.

• Crowding is a big factor. Research from imperial college, no trace of covid 19 on surfaces or in the air. Could science help support the perception gap?

• Its more important to get passengers back on the service before revenues are concentrated on. Communications on these issues are crucial.

• A lot of passengers are in their cars at the moment and they may consider staying in the cars. When we've encouraged people to change their lifestyles, there needs to be incentive

• Government messaging needs to be there to remind people that transport is safe.

Workshop feedback for question two: What can we all do as partners to encourage use of public transport in the future?

• Important that people make a choice to use public transport so that they can contribute to combating climate change

• Joint campaigns with visitor attractions to encourage use of public transport

• Ensure accessible information and guidance is available on all platforms including social media

• Messaging from Authorities needs to be clear and consistent e.g. Welsh Government/Local Authorities.

• Rail and bus decisions around Covid19 rules need to be consistent.

• Covid19 undermines what is good about public transport. This has made people see the car as option 1 again – something that was discouraged before.

• Need more flexible ticketing and make it easier to understand

• Ensure timetables link up between buses and trains and that real time information is available to enable travel decisions

• Ensure that information is available in other methods apart from digitally

• Need for travel incentives especially regarding active travel in rural areas and cycle storage

• Active travel best method however there is neglect to use other policy agendas to support

• Active Travel in rural communities difficult to implement.

• Review car parking charges to incentivise use of rail


Item no. 4

Regional Item

Transport modelling update - Mathew Howells, (MH), Senior Transport Modeller, North Wales presented on transport models.

Participants to contact MH for any further information.


Item no. 5

Future Agenda items and AOB

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

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

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