The Welsh Government has posted a consultation on the next franchise, closing on 23 May 2017. This is replicated on the DfT web site, and is a joint consultation being managed by the WG. https://consultations.gov.wales/sit..._files/170228-tw-consultation-document-en.pdf The consultation is split into two sections - (a) South Wales Metro and (b) the rest. It is rather bland and tick-box in nature, and contains no specific service proposals. The geographic scope is "as a minimum" the current ATW network. However, it is the first time that the WG and DfT have agreed on the scope of the franchise, which will be for 15 years with award due in January 2018. The bidder short list, as we know, is Arriva, Abellio, MTR and Keolis/Amey. It mentions the intention to operate to Bristol and Liverpool (subject to capacity). It suggests that Hereford, Shrewsbury and Chester stations might be transferred to other franchises to manage. If this happens, Hereford and Shrewsbury would go to West Midlands, Chester to either West Coast or Northern. ATW's Sunday local services between Shrewsbury and Birmingham will transfer to West Midlands in 2021. So, it's put up or shut up time! For the first time, it seems the show is properly on the road.