Transport for Wales (TfW) has published its annual report and financial statements for the year to 31 March 2021, a year which saw the transfer of the railway back into public ownership and work to transform the Core Valleys Lines as part of building the South Wales Metro.
As the first set of consolidated financial statements for the Transport for Wales Group, figures released today show total grant-funded expenditure of £638m made up of:
- £356m of revenue funding for provision of rail passenger services. This included £176m of Covid-19 revenue support and other emergency measures funding.
- £88m capital funding for the provision of rail passenger services, including purchase of rolling stock, depot development and station improvements.
- £147m capital expenditure on rail infrastructure and a further £47m spend on projects and service operation.
TfW headcount rose from 305 in March 2020 to 481 as of 31 March 2021 following the appointment of 112 employees and the transfer of 91 members of the Axis cleaning team (there were 27 leavers). As a subsidiary of the Transport for Wales Group, Transport for Wales Rail Limited employs a further 2604.
Highlights of 2020/21 included the ongoing transformation of the Core Valleys Lines (CVL) to build the South Wales Metro and the delivery of major improvements to Swansea, Bridgend and Wrexham railway stations. The first new railway station on the Wales and Borders network since 2015 was also opened at Bow Street.
Rail customers benefitted from extra capacity and additional services with the introduction of two Class 769s on the Rhymney line while testing began of hybrid Class 230s ready for them to enter service on the Wrexham-Bidston line later this year. Four Class Mark IVs have also been acquired and have now entered service.
fflecsi, TfW’s new integrated, demand responsive transport service, was launched in May 2020 following an initial pilot in Pembrokeshire and the Conwy Valley. It is being delivered in partnership with local authorities and bus operators while 2020 also saw the launch of Wales’ first electric bike sharing scheme at Penarth railway station. This followed the successful introduction of pedal bike share schemes in Cardiff and Swansea.
Scott Waddington is Chair of TfW. He said: “2020/21 has been a year like no other. As an organisation, Covid-19 has tested our resilience and agility as we have responded to the disruption that has impacted our people, customers, communities and services. The result is that we have changed beyond all recognition in the last 12 months and now form the TfW Group following the transfer of the Wales and borders rail franchise into our subsidiary Transport for Wales Rail Limited in February 2021. These are therefore our first set of consolidated financial statements.
“It has been a period of unprecedented challenges and transformational changes with our colleagues working together to keep Wales moving safely whilst continuing to deliver the Welsh Government’s vision of developing a more integrated transport network that is accessible to all. This is an organisation that has changed beyond all recognition in the last 12 months yet we have remained focussed on delivery and I pay tribute to our colleagues and partners alike.”
Chief Executive James Price said: “Working as one team, we’re driving forward the Welsh Government’s vision of a high quality, safe, integrated, affordable and accessible transport network that the people of Wales can be proud of. Indeed, this year has seen several significant milestones in the evolution of TfW. We’ve taken responsibility for the Core Valleys Lines following the transfer from Network Rail in March 2020 before becoming the operator of the Wales and Borders rail service with the creation of Transport for Wales Rail Limited in February 2021. There was also the transition of the Axis cleaning team early this year as we continue to build a better in-service experience for our customers.
“Covid-19 has made 2020/21 a difficult year for everyone but our team remains focussed on doing the right thing for the people of Wales; transforming customer experience and encouraging a long-lasting and sustainable modal shift.”
Photo credit: Transport for Wales