The Welsh Government has confirmed its decision to bring complete ownership of the Wales and Borders rail franchise under public control.

The move comes after the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted passenger numbers and rail revenue across Wales.

Transport Minister Ken Skates said that bringing the rail franchise under public control will help secure the future of passenger services in Wales and the Borders area.

In addition, jobs can be protected and it will help maintain the government’s ambitious plans for Metro.

Skates said: “The last few months have been extremely challenging for public transport in Wales and across the UK. Covid has significantly impacted passenger revenues and the Welsh Government has had to step in with significant support to stabilise the network and keep it running.

“We have decided to transfer of day to day rail services to a new publicly owned subsidiary of Transport for Wales.”

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As part of the new arrangements, the control of the rail franchise will be taken over from KeolisAmey.

Day-to-day rail services will become the responsibility of a new publicly owned subsidiary of Transport for Wales, which includes a new partnership between Transport for Wales, Keolis and Amey.

This subsidiary will operate under its own licence and approvals and is expected to take over responsibility for rail operations from Keolis Amey Operations /Gweithrediadau Keolis Amey next February after a managed transition process.

KeolisAmey will partner with Transport for Wales on rolling stock delivery, specification and introduction, as well as drawing on Keolis’ expertise in various areas.

These areas include integrated ticketing, on-demand transport systems, cross-modal design and delivery and the ongoing integration of light and heavy rail.