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Extension of rail concession welcome news

Rebecca Evans, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, has welcomed news today that a popular concessionary railscheme run on rural railways by the Labour Welsh Government is to be extended by 6 months.

Mrs Evans, who recently facilitated a meeting of train service users with the Minister for Transport, said:

“I am delighted that the concessionary rail scheme on rural railways has been extended until next March.

“When we met with the Minister we made the case for the concessionary rail scheme, highlighting how popular it was and noting the importance of the scheme in tackling loneliness and promoting inclusion for older people and disabled people.

“I have only heard good feedback about the concessionary rail scheme, and am pleased that the Welsh Government continues to invest in it.”

The Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, has announced the extension of the concessionary rail scheme on rural railways until March 2014.

Eligible pass holders will continue to benefit from free rail travel on the Conwy Valley Line between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno, and on the Welsh section of the Wrexham – Bidston Line for another six months.

The Cambrian Coast and Heart of Wales schemes, which operate during the winter months, will also run until March 2014.

The scheme, which has been funded by the Welsh Government since 2007, complements the concessionary bus fares scheme and gives access to public transport in areas where bus services are limited.

Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, said: “The concessionary rural rail scheme demonstrates our commitment to sustainable transport in Wales and is an important service for the elderly and disabled in our rural communities.

 “This popular scheme also addresses our goals of decreasing private car use, reducing rural isolation and strengthening our rural communities.”