Cynon AM welcomes exciting new Wales and Border franchise

Vikki Howells, Assembly Member for Cynon Valley, has welcomed the transformative new Wales and Borders rail service franchise that will put passenger interests at the heart of the operation.

KeolisAmey are the new providers and will take over the operation of the service from Arriva in October of this year.

The new service will underpin the £5 billion investment to transform rail services across Wales, which will include:-

  • more frequent trains, with a doubling of services meaning there will be four services an hour from Aberdare from 2022;
  • Sunday services boosted to create a true seven-day-a-week service, with two services per hour from Aberdare from 2024, building upon the recent expanded service secured by Vikki Howells AM;
  • more flexible fares, with cheaper off-peak prices and half price-concessionary tickets extended to 16-18 year olds;
  • £194 million invested to modernise all 247 stations in Wales; and
  • a £1.9 billion investment into improving passengers’ travel experience, including an £800 million investment in trains, boosting overall service capacity by 65%.

Other parts of the plan include:-

  • 100% electric traction on all lines running north out of Cardiff Queen Street, with the electricity sourced from 100% renewable sources;
  • the recruitment of 600 additional staff, plus 450 new apprenticeship opportunities (30 per year), and the retention of a guard on every train; and
  • better support for active travel with the installation of new cycle lockers at stations.

Vikki Howells AM said:-

“I know that my constituents want better availability, better reliability and better affordability when they travel, so I am sure this package of measures will be welcomed by Cynon Valley residents.

“In particular, the commitment to additional Sunday services is excellent news representing a positive outcome to my campaigning on this issue.

“I will now be seeking clarification about the possibility of extending the network to other communities in Cynon.

“For far too many years, the presence of the out-dated Pacer trains on the Valley Lines has symbolised underinvestment in rail – these will be removed from the network by the end of next year.

“This investment in our rail services is about investing in our economic prosperity, enhancing the ability of Cynon Valley residents to access more and better employment opportunities both inside and outside the Valleys.

“It really is an investment in our future”.




  • Transport for Wales is a not for profit company, wholly owned by the Welsh Government.
  • There had been calls for a public sector or ‘nationalised’ Wales and Borders franchise, but the Welsh Government is prevented from doing so by the 1993 Railways Act.