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Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates has been to Manchester to meet the operator delivering the new rail services contract in Wales and the borders from October.

First published:
24 September 2018
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Transport Secretary Ken Skates and Kevin Thomas, Chief Executive of Transport for Wales Rail Services met Aline Frantzen, Managing Director of Metrolink to go behind the scenes and experience the day to day running of the successful system.

During the visit, the Cabinet Secretary had a tour around the Network Management Centre, which as the control room and customer service centre, is the heart of the Metrolink operation. The network is monitored from here using radio communication, CCTV and tram management systems. Key messages are delivered to drivers from the control room in times of disruption.

Taking the opportunity to learn lessons on how Manchester has developed and grown their system and for operating and continuously improving regional metro networks, Transport Secretary Ken Skates said:

“We are putting passengers’ key priorities at the heart of the new contract, focusing on alleviating concerns around seat capacity, journey times and service frequency and ensuring fair, affordable fares and quality, clean trains.” 

“I was particularly interested in understanding the customer’s perspective – which elements of a Metro network passengers most value and how these lessons can be applied in Wales.

“We will work alongside Transport for Wales Rail Services to deliver these priorities across Wales and the border regions of England.

“The plans I have announced to date are only the start. Buses and active travel will also play a crucial role, as will park and ride and transport interchanges.

During his tour of the Old Trafford depot, Ken Skates also had an opportunity to meet with Councillor Mark Aldred, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.