Do restrictions apply on the use of public transport in Wales? Are leisure journeys allowed or not?

AdamWW

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Some intersting things in the TFW Rail FAQ

Q. What happens if the train you want is full?
In cases of major delays or disruption, rail replacement buses should continue to be used. Supplementary transport provision should be provided, where possible, if demand exceeds the capacity provided to ensure passengers can complete their essential travel.

But not for a trip to Barry presumably.

Q. What happens if the last service of the day is full?
If you are unable to board the last service of the day because you think it’s not safe and your journey is essential, we will arrange alternative transport for you if you hold a valid ticket.

You can request alternative transport by:

Contacting TfW via Help Point
Call 03333 212202 by phone
Ask the conductor on the last service or station staff to arrange alternative transport for you.

I wonder if trying to get home is "essential", or you are supposed to prove that the outward trip was suitably non-frivolous in order to take advantage of this?

This next one is a bit odd, and I suspect it's supposed to refer to accessibility issues, not all passengers in general:

Q. What if we can't Social Distance on your services?
Due to diminished seating opportunities within carriages resultant from C19 social distancing we will provide and increasingly offer alternative transport (Accessible taxis)
 
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anthony263

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Well, the train doesn't cross into Wales until several miles out of Shrewsbury, so I should be all right.

I must say the First Minister of Wales seems to be a dour presbyterian type who is constantly haunted by the fear that someone, somewhere, is actually having some fun and enjoying themself. He seems determined to make the life of people in Wales as miserable as possible with all these petty restrictions.

What difference does it make if someone reads a newspaper for Christ's sake?

I wonder if he was a puritan in a former life?
One of the reasons I'm voting him out next election
 

nedchester

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What exactly do they mean by this, I wonder? " Your travel status will be subject to live and ongoing review, with checks by British Transport Police, TfW Rail Revenue inspectors and Security staff. "

Whatever they mean, couldn't they find a nicer way of saying it?

Whether non-essential travel is now supposed to be grudgingly OK or not, I don't get the impression that I would be welcome on any of their trains.

And they are still saying you might have to wait until "capacity drops" so it doesn't look as if they are actually reading what they are writing.
My travel status is not the business of BTP, TfW nor their security staff. We do not live in North Korea / Stasi East Germany of the 1980s.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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If you are unable to board the last service of the day because you think it’s not safe and your journey is essential, we will arrange alternative transport for you if you hold a valid ticket.
Isn't it obvious? If you are making a non-essential journey then you can't catch the virus. It must be true - after all, TfW would rather you travel on an overcrowded service if your journey is non-essential! :rolleyes:

In which case, all non-essential journeys should be encouraged, as you are guaranteed not to catch the virus... Don't tell TfW...
 

anamyd

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Even though I'm not quite "back", I've been reading this thread as someone who doesn't currently drive, and after asking TfW, TfW Rail and the Welsh Government for clarification re: "essential journeys or if it's your only option" I was linked by TfW to this FAQ page of theirs that I didn't know about that's a lot more useful than TfW Rail's page they're linking people as it actually gives detailed, specific scenarios, such as:

I’m meeting my friend for a physically distanced catch up; can I use public transport?
You can, but only if you have no other option. We’re currently running reduced services on trains and buses and there is less capacity on trains due to physical distancing, so bear this in mind when planning your journey.
Only use public transport for essential journeys or if it’s your only option. Please consider walking or cycling where possible to help us keep the limited space available on public transport for key workers who need to travel to and from work.
 

AdamWW

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Meanwhile despite the suggestion of a slight relaxation in policy on Twitter a few days ago, both at stations and on Twitter TFW is back to full aggression mode, including the new message on departure boards: "Don't use public transport to go to the beach"

And there is a disturbing thread on Twitter with someone claiming that their son was refused tickets as he wasn't a "key worker", which they then completely failed to engage with and either defend the behaviour or otherwise.

I have no idea where to sit because some of the seat labels have clearly gone AWOL (unless random table seats are now available to four strangers again) but unlike bus companies they won't say on their web site where they expect people to sit.

Getting a little fed up with this.
 

duncanp

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And there is a disturbing thread on Twitter with someone claiming that their son was refused tickets as he wasn't a "key worker", which they then completely failed to engage with and either defend the behaviour or otherwise.

I have no idea where to sit because some of the seat labels have clearly gone AWOL (unless random table seats are now available to four strangers again) but unlike bus companies they won't say on their web site where they expect people to sit.

Getting a little fed up with this.
That is a complete load of %*$@@***.

Refuse to sell someone a ticket, so that they have to get on a train without a ticket, and then presumably fine them at the other end for not having a ticket. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

I am going on a non essential journey to Wales tomorrow using TfW services, and I hope no-one tries that nonsense on with me, otherwise I will tell them where to get off, rather then them telling me where to get off.
 

Huntergreed

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That is a complete load of %*$@@***.

Refuse to sell someone a ticket, so that they have to get on a train without a ticket, and then presumably fine them at the other end for not having a ticket. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

I am going on a non essential journey to Wales tomorrow using TfW services, and I hope no-one tries that nonsense on with me, otherwise I will tell them where to get off, rather then them telling me where to get off.
Remember they can only get off if it's essential!

In all seriousness this is a concerning thing to be happening and this stopping people from travelling because it's 'not essential' must stop now.
 

Mag_seven

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The way that TfW are behaving you would think they were still back at the peak of the virus in April. The rest of the UK has now moved on.
 

AdamWW

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The way that TfW are behaving you would think they were still back at the peak of the virus in April. The rest of the UK has now moved on.
They say they are just following government guidelines.

But bus companies appear to be taking a less strict view now while following the same guidelines.
 

Llandudno

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TfW are instructing people not to use the train to go to the Beach this weekend as rail travel is for ‘essential journeys’

In north Wales, you can use the bus, but Arriva are only running about 25% of the normal timetables.
Far to risky to attempt to catch the 5 and 12 buses in and around Llandudno/Rhyl/Caernarfon as only operating hourly instead of up to every 15 minutes. The X5 is not operating at all!

Expect more traffic jams on the A55 and parking chaos!
 

AdamWW

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Even though I'm not quite "back", I've been reading this thread as someone who doesn't currently drive, and after asking TfW, TfW Rail and the Welsh Government for clarification re: "essential journeys or if it's your only option" I was linked by TfW to this FAQ page of theirs that I didn't know about that's a lot more useful than TfW Rail's page they're linking people as it actually gives detailed, specific scenarios, such as:
Which is nice, though the TfW (not rail) home page is still giving the "don't think about it" message - you have to scroll down to the bottom to get the link to the FAQ that actually says you can.

But in any case, TfW may be saying you can use the train, but TfW Rail are still enthusiastically and agressively telling people not to, including the message "Don't use the train to go to the beach" which is in direct contradiction to the FAQ page you linked to.

(Edited as I accidentally said the opposite of what I meant)
 
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trainophile

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How much longer are they being subsidised by the government?

It would be interesting to see their what their stance was if there were other operators in competition on most of their routes, but sadly they have the monopoly in most areas where they operate (aka run empty trains).
 

Dai Corner

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How much longer are they being subsidised by the government?

It would be interesting to see their what their stance was if there were other operators in competition on most of their routes, but sadly they have the monopoly in most areas where they operate (aka run empty trains).
They've always* been subsidised by the Government, who also specify what services to run.

* certainly since nationalisation in 1948.
 

trainophile

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They've always* been subsidised by the Government, who also specify what services to run.

* certainly since nationalisation in 1948.
Oh, I realise the Welsh Gov't fund TfW to a certain extent, but I was thinking of the current UK national set-up that I believe means operators are not having to pay all of their own running costs while the pandemic is going on. My apologies if I have misunderstood what's happening.
 

Dai Corner

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Oh, I realise the Welsh Gov't fund TfW to a certain extent, but I was thinking of the current UK national set-up that I believe means operators are not having to pay all of their own running costs while the pandemic is going on. My apologies if I have misunderstood what's happening.
I believe 'English' TOCs - those with franchises awarded by the UK Department of Transport - are currently nationalised in all but name with the Government taking the financial risk and paying the companies a management fee. The Office for National Statistics are looking at reclassifying them as public sector.

I haven't seen anything regarding the arrangements between TfW Rail Services, Transport from Wales and the Welsh Government.
 

Dai Corner

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Readers of this thread might like to complete the Transport for Wales (not TfW Rail Services) survey about the effects of Covid 19 on public transport.

 

ForTheLoveOf

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Readers of this thread might like to complete the Transport for Wales (not TfW Rail Services) survey about the effects of Covid 19 on public transport.

They seem to be framing the whole thing in terms of two factors - the need to travel and whether or not you would feel safe. Predictably they can't see the wood for the trees - which is that a significant push factor preventing people from using their services is that they're telling people to get lost and that they'll refuse to provide alternatives if social distancing can't be achieved.

I don't think such a blind attitude should be any surprise from an organisation that says that people's "travel status will be subject to continuous review by the BTP".
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I believe 'English' TOCs - those with franchises awarded by the UK Department of Transport - are currently nationalised in all but name with the Government taking the financial risk and paying the companies a management fee. The Office for National Statistics are looking at reclassifying them as public sector.
I haven't seen anything regarding the arrangements between TfW Rail Services, Transport from Wales and the Welsh Government.
TfW Rail is under a separate EMA than the DfT one (mentioned in August Modern Railways).
Among other things it expires, I think, today!
No doubt it will be extended in some form, but not necessarily like the English one.
I believe they want to pay a smaller management fee than the 2% of the DfT franchisees.

Mark Drakeford has just given an update on Covid-19 measures.
I didn't listen to it directly, but I don't believe he changed the "essential travel only" rule for Wales.
So I guess that's another 3 weeks at least of denying leisure travel by train.
The next opportunity for change will be at the point schools in Wales start up again in September, after the normal tourist peak.
 

AdamWW

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They seem to be framing the whole thing in terms of two factors - the need to travel and whether or not you would feel safe. Predictably they can't see the wood for the trees - which is that a significant push factor preventing people from using their services is that they're telling people to get lost and that they'll refuse to provide alternatives if social distancing can't be achieved.

I don't think such a blind attitude should be any surprise from an organisation that says that people's "travel status will be subject to continuous review by the BTP".
Interesting:
A UK-wide lockdown started on 23 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic; restrictions on people’s movements were imposed which severely impacted all aspects of everyday life, from work, leisure, travel to how we meet family and friends. One area that has been severely affected and widely discussed is the use of public transport. As restrictions are now being lifted, we invite you to take part in this discussion by sharing your thoughts on this as it is our aim is to understand and shape the future of transport in Wales.
[\QUOTE]

As restrictions are now being lifted? Good news but doesn't seem to have happened yet.

And "widely discussed"? Not the point where I think I've seen anybody from the government or TFW Rail show that they realise that the non-essential travel ban means anyone without access to car is pretty much stuck at home.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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As restrictions are now being lifted? Good news but doesn't seem to have happened yet.
Depends on what you mean by the word "restrictions"! The most logical meaning would be referring to what is and isn't legal, seeing as the relevant law is named the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020. If you had a reasonable excuse to leave your house you were allowed to use public transport quite legally throughout the entire pandemic.

Ever since the requirement for a reasonable excuse was scrapped under the introduction of the No. 2 Regulations, you can legally use public transport for any reason.

Of course some will refer to the government guidance as restrictions - I think this is highly disingenuous since they have no legal authority in this regard. It's true that the Welsh guidance still discourages the use of public transport, but it is by no means banned in any sense of the word.
 

AdamWW

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Depends on what you mean by the word "restrictions"! The most logical meaning would be referring to what is and isn't legal, seeing as the relevant law is named the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020. If you had a reasonable excuse to leave your house you were allowed to use public transport quite legally throughout the entire pandemic.

Ever since the requirement for a reasonable excuse was scrapped under the introduction of the No. 2 Regulations, you can legally use public transport for any reason.
What do you think they mean by "restrictions now being lifted"?

Given that TFW Rail are aggressively attempting to keep people away, threatening to question them about their need to travel and possibly strand them at their destination if they try to have a day out, we can argue semantics but it feels as if the ability to travel is somewhat restricted to me.

Of course some will refer to the government guidance as restrictions - I think this is highly disingenuous since they have no legal authority in this regard. It's true that the Welsh guidance still discourages the use of public transport, but it is by no means banned in any sense of the word.
I don't recall saying it was banned, actually. The Welsh guidance does say in places that they discourage the use of public transport, but in others they still insist that you shouldn't use it except for a short list of essential journey types.
 

Furryanimal

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I have been to Barry Island twice in the last couple of weeks.Travelling from Cwmbran where I bought my ticket at the machine.
There was more security on Cwmbran station than passengers.The second time they were checking tickets.At Barry Island there were two guys selling tickets on my second trip to passengers who had not been able to buy one on the way.Lots of teenagers about,as you might expect ,and security making sure Barry Island station didn’t get too crowded with returning passengers.
But travelling just after the peak trains sparsely populated on the way down.And leaving Barry Island around 4 not busy into Cardiff.But the trains up to Cwmbran very busy and not much social distancing happening.And the conductor
apologising for the fact the train was very busy.But no attempts to stop people boarding.
Was my journey essential?Well I met a friend who lives there,felt normal for the first time in months and enjoyed being around people in an outdoor cafe,on the beach and headland and broke the rules by visiting my friends flat.I was so much happier after my trips.I say it was essential but under TFW guidelines it wasn’t.But I will wait until September before doing it again.
I would say that TFW will not stop you travelling but will continue to try and put you off.With great weather this weekend you are not going to stop folk going to the beach!
 

duncanp

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I would say that TFW will not stop you travelling but will continue to try and put you off.With great weather this weekend you are not going to stop folk going to the beach!
Just got back from my trip to Welshpool today.

At Shrewsbury, it seemed that practically every teenager from the whole of Shropshire boarded the train - I wasn't quite sure where they were going but they were talking about a journey time of two hours, so I suppose it must have been somewhere on the Western coast of Wales.

There was no attempt to stop any of them from boarding, despite the presence of a couple of Heddlu on the platform. There was also no attempt to enforce social distancing on the train, and all seats were taken on departure from Shrewsbury, including those marked Cadwch y sedd yn wag.

So it would seem that all the pronouncements by Transport for Wales about "essential travel only" and "your travel status will be subject to live and ongoing review by the BTP" are a complete and utter load of hogwash.

They are using empty threats to try and bully people off the train, and are making no attempt to enforce the rules they put up on their website and on station posters.

The longer this goes on, the more the people of Wales will realise this and will start to use the trains whenever they want to, and I say good luck to them.
 

Huntergreed

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Just got back from my trip to Welshpool today.

At Shrewsbury, it seemed that practically every teenager from the whole of Shropshire boarded the train - I wasn't quite sure where they were going but they were talking about a journey time of two hours, so I suppose it must have been somewhere on the Western coast of Wales.

There was no attempt to stop any of them from boarding, despite the presence of a couple of Heddlu on the platform. There was also no attempt to enforce social distancing on the train, and all seats were taken on departure from Shrewsbury, including those marked Cadwch y sedd yn wag.

So it would seem that all the pronouncements by Transport for Wales about "essential travel only" and "your travel status will be subject to live and ongoing review by the BTP" are a complete and utter load of hogwash.

They are using empty threats to try and bully people off the train, and are making no attempt to enforce the rules they put up on their website and on station posters.

The longer this goes on, the more the people of Wales will realise this and will start to use the trains whenever they want to, and I say good luck to them.
Quite frankly, what TfW have done during this crisis is truly atrocious. They have actively discourage those who do not own a car their ability to travel (which has been permitted by law) and have shown multiple times they couldn't care in he slightest about their customers (their twitter feed is a load of utter nonsense trying to discourage people from travelling).

I certainly won't be giving TfW any of my money anytime soon, and I will, if visiting Wales, be making an active effort to use other operators as much as I can.
 

AdamWW

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Quite frankly, what TfW have done during this crisis is truly atrocious. They have actively discourage those who do not own a car their ability to travel (which has been permitted by law) and have shown multiple times they couldn't care in he slightest about their customers (their twitter feed is a load of utter nonsense trying to discourage people from travelling).
Oh I don't know. They practically fawn over "key workers" using their trains....
 

PHILIPE

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TFW Twitter has been in overdrive today and other days with people complaining about overcrowded trains and not only to Barry Island but also the large number not wearing masks. TFW just reply with their parrot fashion generic replies which merely say what should be done, i.e essential travel only, BT Police are on stations and trains and also the advice re masks. It's obvious from these Tweets that little or no enforcement is being carried out but people are looking for answers as to why the situation is as it is due to non enforcement but they don't get them.
 
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williamn

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Feel sorry for their Twitter staff tbh, its not their fault, and to be honest, pre-covid, I found them incredibly helpful.
 

trainophile

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So many complaints on Twitter about overcrowding on the Barry Island trains, but don't people realise that they themselves are the cause of that? It's coming across as if they (the complainers) should be allowed to travel, but everyone else should be stopped.
 

Markdvdman

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The truth is they are using this all as an excuse as the trains are dreadfully inadequate! They have not got enough trains and they KNOW that people flock to the Island on hot days! They will not put the timetable back to normal either at least until the 769s are available. People will not listen to them telling them not to travel. They should at least do as National Express do and inside seat only except for people living together. They would have half a chance then!
 

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