‘Free service a victim of its own success’

First published in News

THE train now standing at Llandybie station… has only one coach, so passengers may not be able to get a seat.

That claim has been made by Saron-based county councillor Peter Cooper, who is calling on the Welsh Assembly to ensure extra coaches are laid on for their free Heart of Wales Line service from Swansea to Shrewsbury.

Cllr Cooper told Llandybie community councillors that the service – which enables pensioners with bus passes to travel free of charge – was a victim of its own success.

“It has only one coach and by the time the train reaches Llandybie or Llandeilo, you’re unable to sit down on it,” he said.

“I’ve also had complaints from paying customers that when they get on at Llandovery or Llangadog they have to stand for the entire trip.

“The Welsh Assembly pay for this free train and I have asked them to put another coach on.

“Some of these passengers are disabled and it’s not right they have to stand – there are a lot of stops between Swansea and Ammanford.”

Cllr Cooper added it appeared that extra coaches were indeed laid on “for the Royal Welsh and other major events”.

County councillor Sian Thomas asked: “Not the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwrtyd Wells?”

Technical officer Brian James said £1,000 had been put aside for improvements to be carried out at Llandybie station in the next six months.

County councillor Alun Davies said the chief criticism of Ammanford station was its lack of available parking.

“Some people are leaving their cars next to the level crossing, which is obviously an absurd place to park,” he added.

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