Ukrainian refugees in Wales offered free rail travel for six months

Two women with their children after fleeing from the Ukraine. Credit: PA Images

Ukrainian refugees in Wales will be offered free train travel for six months, the Welsh Government has announced.

The First Minister said the free travel scheme aims to help people settle here after fleeing the ongoing conflict.

Ukrainian nationals can travel on Transport for Wales services by showing a Ukraine passport to conductors and station staff.

Mark Drakeford has said that Wales would like to welcome 1,000 refugees from Ukraine in a first stage of a "super-sponsorship" scheme.

Mr Drakeford said: “My message to the people of Ukraine is clear; there is a warm welcome waiting for you in Wales.

“Transport for Wales providing free travel for all refugees is another action which shows Wales is a place of safety and sanctuary for those who need our help.

“I am also proud that Wales intends to become a super-sponsor for the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, which will provide a safe route for people to come to the UK for up to three years.”

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said: “All of us will have seen the shocking and distressing scenes from Ukraine over the past few weeks. Many of us have been deeply affected by what's happening, and we want to do what we can to support the Ukrainian people in their time of need.

“We’re proud of our record of supporting groups with free travel, including being a part of the nation Rail to Refuge scheme offering free travel for people fleeing domestic abuse, and offering free rail travel for NHS workers during 2020. This is a further extension of our commitment to social justice and helping make the world a better place.”

The scheme is an extension of an ongoing Welsh Government programme providing free public transport for asylum seekers in Wales.

It's part of its ambition to become the world’s first 'Nation of Sanctuary', endorsed by the United Nations.