Having last month called for rail services in North Wales to be increased to help the region recover from the pandemic, Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies has welcomed news that regional services are set to return to pre-pandemic levels later this month.
Services were reduced in 2020 in response to Covid and lockdown. Concerned they had not returned to normal despite all covid restrictions having been lifted, James raised the matter in the House of Commons in April.
He has also been liaising with Transport for Wales (TfW) in recent weeks, emphasising the need for North Wales services to be scaled back up.
He was therefore pleased to receive correspondence back from TfW recently, announcing that the new service pattern, which will be introduced on May 22nd, will "be the same as immediately pre-pandemic" and that "the overall capacity will improve as a result of the introduction of the mark IV fleet [later this year]".
The May 22nd service pattern includes the reinstatement of the direct trains to Manchester Airport from Llandudno. This service was also altered during the pandemic.
Welcoming the increased service, James said:
"This is very welcome news indeed and I know that rail users across North Wales will be relieved that the reduced service which has been operating for the past two years is finally being increased.
"It will not only make life so much easier for all those who use the rail service to commute to work, but it will also boost visitor numbers to North Wales. As a result, it can play a vital role in helping the region get back on its feet after what has been an extremely challenging two years.
"However, despite the reinstatement in the forthcoming timetable of some intercity rail services to and from North Wales, Avanti West Coast services will still remain less frequent than pre-pandemic. I will continue to work to address this.
"In the longer run, if we are to be successful in encouraging people off the roads and on to rail, then we really need to ensure that we have fast, frequent and reliable rail services. This will require major investment in infrastructure which I and my Conservative colleagues from North Wales are pressing very hard for at Parliament."
TfW have advised that, as ever with timetable changes, there could be minor re-timing to services. Passengers are therefore advised to check their journey details before they travel.