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Transport For Wales Rail Franchise Agreement
december 19, 2020
The change marks the end of the German company Arriva Trains Wales (ATW), which operates the franchise. It has been operating since 7 December 2003 and has withdrawn from the tendering process and is pursuing it. But from February next year, KeolisAmey`s rail employees will be transferred to a public company currently called Transport for Wales Rail Ltd. In March 2020, an initial short-term agreement worth $40 million was confirmed to support the rail system during the March closure due to the COVID 19 pandemic. On 31 May 2020, an emergency agreement was approved to support KeolisAmey Wales; she explained in detail that the Welsh government has announced that it will spend up to $65 million over the next six months to ensure that trains continue to run on the franchise.  ERMAs have a maximum duration of 18 months until March 2022 and must terminate the expiry of the current deductibles at the expiry of these contracts. In a statement, the First Group said the Department of Transport intended to “start discussions with railways on the transition to new contracts directly awarded for longer terms that would come into effect at the end of the ERMA.” At this time, it is not clear what a “direct market” will entail. Transport expert Christian Wolmar said there had been improvements in rail transport – such as in Scotland, Merseyside and London – and local authorities or the de decentralised government. These rail franchise agreements are published in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Franchise agreements are published by the Secretary of State in accordance with the exceptions authorized by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In practice, this means that almost all financial risks associated with the railways are borne by the government. At present, it is difficult to assume the method that the UK government will use for rail services when the ErMA ends in accordance with the corresponding franchising agreements until further details are released. Kevin Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of KeolisAmey Wales, said: “In light of Covid-19, we recognise the need for the Welsh government to take a sustainable path to achieve its ambitious rail targets. The Minister for Transport must consult with the Welsh Government on the allocation of deductibles including a Welsh service (a service starting in Wales, completing or completing at least one planned call); for example, Cardiff`s connections to the English Midlands operated by CrossCountry trains. Transport for Wales (TfW) was founded in 2015 as an all-Welsh public company. In 2018, the private company KeolisAmey received the Wales franchise and borders for the operation and maintenance of TfW Rail Services for the next 15 years. It is these rail services that, from February 2021, will be placed under the control of the Welsh Government to help the franchise continue to weather the coronavirus pandemic. The financial risk of the Rail franchise in Wales and Borders, known as Transport for Wales (TfW), has already been taken over by taxpayers under a $65 million deal signed in May. The Welsh government, which has placed the Wales and Borders franchise under public control as the operator of the charging resort (OLR), has attracted a lot of media attention in recent weeks, with political statements for and against such a move.