1. ITV Report

Transport for Wales has taken over the Wales and Border franchise

Transport for Wales has taken over the franchise from Arriva. Credit: Transport for Wales

Transport for Wales has taken over the Wales and Borders franchise.

The new operator replaces Arriva Trains Wales who have run the service for the last 15 years.

Transport for Wales have promised a "transformation" of the service by 2025. They say that by 2023, 95% of passengers' journeys will take place on new, higher capacity trains.

The new owners have promised a Credit: PA Images

On the first day in charge of the franchise, the new operators have begun deep cleaning of stations around the country. A new ticket website has also been launched.

From Sunday, the Transport for Wales brand will start to appear on uniforms, around stations and on trains and posters.

Passengers will be welcomed by the same staff, and travel on the same trains on the same routes and timetables - and, importantly, their existing tickets will all still be valid as before.

– James Price, Chief Executive of Transport for Wales
Arrive Trains Wales pulled out of the running for the new contract. Credit: PA Images

After fifteen years in charge of the service, Arriva Trains Wales say they are "proud" of the service delivered on the franchise.

But some customers celebrated the end of the company's time in charge, a celebration was held at Cardiff Central Station the night before the new company took charge.

The transport watchdog, Transport Focus, has welcomed the takeover.

Passengers tell us that their priorities for the new Wales and Borders railway are reliable services on which they can get a seat and are good value for money.

Passengers will look forward to seeing the benefits of new trains, additional services and increased capacity. To maintain passengers’ trust, Transport for Wales must clearly communicate when these improvements will be delivered and how passengers might be disrupted by any necessary changes over the coming years.

We look forward to working closely with Transport for Wales in helping deliver a new service with passengers’ interests at its heart.

– David Sidebottom, Director at Transport Focus

Some services have been affected today on the rail network as Storm Callum continues to cause disruption.