Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport
I am writing to update Members on the launch of the new Wales and Borders rail service contract.
Members will recall that following a competitive procurement process, led by Transport for Wales, we awarded the contract to operate the next Wales and Borders rail service contract to KeolisAmey.
Today marks the first full day of the new Wales and Borders rail service contract, having seen the 15-year relationship with Arriva Trains Wales end on Sunday.
With the investment totalling almost £5bn over the next decade and a half, our network will be transformed to better meet the needs of communities across Wales. We have committed £800m to deliver new trains across the network, which by 2023 will see 95% of rail journeys made on new trains. A further £194m will be put to improving the passenger experiences at our stations across the Wales and Borders network.
There is £738m earmarked to modernise the central metro lines, enabling more trains to run every hour. Furthermore, there will be employment opportunities directly associated with the new contract, with 600 new jobs being offered and a total of 450 apprenticeships over the 15-year lifespan of the contract.
This is an exciting time for Wales, with many benefits being delivered over the next 15 years. I wish Transport for Wales every success in bringing about these transformational changes on our behalf.