POLITICIANS in Llanelli have vocalised their frustrations as plans for extra train services between west Wales and London have been ditched.

Grand Union Trains had been working on plans to run as many as seven daily returning rail services between Cardiff Central and Paddington from December 2021 and had been hoping to extend those services to both Llanelli and Carmarthen.

Those plans though, it seems, won’t be progressing any further as the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) have rejected the application. These rail plans have been rejected because of ORR concerns that it could have cost the UK Department of Transport millions of pounds.

An ORR spokesperson said: “After careful consideration we have decided not to approve Grand Union Trains’ application.

“At this time, and taking account of the pandemic’s impact on railway finances, we consider the passenger benefits would not outweigh the significant negative impact on public funds that this might have.”

Llanelli MS Lee Waters, Deputy Transport Minister in the Welsh Government, described the decision as “a real scandal”. 

Lee Waters said “A plan to get a direct rail service from places like Llanelli to London has been blocked because it’s feared the DfT may get a bill if it doesn’t go to plan.”

MP for Llanelli, Nia Griffith said: “This is a real kick in the teeth. 

“We in west Wales deserve to have as good connectivity as other parts of the country. 

“We need more direct trains because it is the long-time gap between trains and poor connections with on-going services that really puts people off using trains now. 

“More frequent services and more direct trains would attract more passengers.”

Grand Union Trains will fight the decision, which they have said could jeopardise 135 new jobs, and described it as ‘poorly forecasted’. They are currently seeking legal advice.