THE nationalisation of Welsh railway services has been welcomed by a North Wales MS.

The last few months have been extremely challenging for public transport in Wales and across the UK. Covid 19 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.

Ken Skates, Welsh Government Transport Minister, said: “We have decided to transfer day to day rail services to a new publicly owned subsidiary of Transport for Wales. Bringing day to day rail services for the Wales and Borders franchise under public control would help secure the future of passenger services and protect jobs.”

Ann Jones, MS for Vale of Clwyd, welcomed the move. She said: “Access to public transport is now more important than ever and I’m over the moon that the Welsh Government has brought these services back into public ownership.

“We’ve seen rail franchises collapse across England as the privatised model struggles to cope with the strain of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“By taking swift action, the Welsh Government has acted to secure essential rail services and jobs across the Wales.”

The initiative was also greeted warmly by Peter Hughes, Unite, the Union’s Wales Regional Secretary, who said: “Unite has long argued that rail should be in public hands so today’s news from Welsh Government is one that we warmly welcome. A service as fundamental to our society such as the railways should not be run by private companies whose motivation for profit often comes ahead of the needs of passengers.

“Good rail services are hugely reliant on their highly skilled and dedicated workforce. We expect employee’s terms and conditions to be completely maintained as this transfer from the private to the public sector takes place. Key caveats from the existing franchise around job security and direct employment that our members have built their future plans around, must be maintained.”