TRAIN OVERCROWDING MISERY FORECAST.
COMMUTERS will face overcrowding on some stretched train services in Wales for two years, one of the nation's leading transport experts has warned.
Professor Stuart Cole said there was no easy or quick resolution to the lack of rolling stock.
Prof Cole, of the University of South Wales, said that the only solution to overcrowding is more trains but that is likely to take two years because of the lack of available diesel trains in the UK, where the bulk of lines are electrified.
He said: "There is no immediate solution to overcrowding unless some trains become available."
He said older diesel trains would only become available when newer trains were brought in on routes like the Great Western line.
"We know that Great Western have new trains coming from Japan. There is a possibility, if the trains are available they can do the long distance work like Carmarthen to Manchester and Aberystwyth to Manchester, so the trains currently on those routes could be used for the Valley lines."
However, he said Wales was competing with both Scotland and Newcastle for replacement diesel trains.
He said that when the franchise was awarded to Arriva Trains Wales in 2003, it was "flawed from the start": the rolling stock used by the company was now 40 years old and liable to need extensive maintenance.