SARPA is the local rail users group for the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth
running from the English border through Montgomeryshire to the coast of
Ceredigion and ending up in the increasingly important University (and
) town of
Aberystwyth. We exist to preserve and promote the line so that there is a
transport system for future generations. SARPA is one of the more active
user groups in Wales and meets monthly. We are continually campaigning on
various issues from train times and frequency to station maintenance and
welcome any comments anybody has about the rail service in Mid Wales.|
The Wales and Borders Franchise is due to change later in 2018 and we look forward to working with the new operator. We are sorry that after all the hard work put in by Arriva to improve the quality of the service, they have decided not to bid.
Despite the continued lack of information about the new franchise, SARPA continues to be
influential and vocal. A recent example of this was in the Cambrian News
in January, when
an article was published about our opposition to the ticket price rises. For a number of years
ticket prices have been rapidly rising so that the Westminster government pays a lower
proportion in subsidies, whilst they are still enthusiastically investing in roads.
In Wales, the Welsh Government still appears keen to invest in diverting the M4 around
Newport, with a new estimate of £1.4bn. The railway between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen
could be re-opened twice for that price!|
It is also true that Wales has 5% of the UK population, 6% of the railways, but has only
received 1% of the investment
in railway infrastrucure in recent years. Certainly, more
investment needs to be made in Welsh railway infrastructure.
Currently, we are still suffering serious overcrowding on Cambrian trains due to lack of
carriages. There are 24 units which can work on the line (that is, 48 carriages), but some of
them are used in other areas instead. On a larger scale, Arriva Trains Wales
has barely any
more carriages than it did at the start of the franchise in 2003, but passenger numbers have
risen spectacularly. It will be necessary to take the bull by the horns and demand that the 24
available units will be transferred to the Cambrian in order to cope with the popularity of the
railway, by obtaining additional carriages for the rest of the network.
There will be a chance to discuss this, and other matters, with Arriva senior management
in our meeting in Shrewsbury in March. Additionally, we will continue to set forth our
demands for the new franchise.
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the Association cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising therefrom.|
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