South Wales Metro: Warning over toilet-less trams

Tanni Grey-Thompson
Image caption Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said transport bosses risked creating long-term problems

Issues with new toilet-less trams being rolled out in Wales could cause 30 years of problems, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has warned.

The Paralympian said wheelchair users needed step-free trams so they could easily get on and off to use station toilets.

Transport for Wales has been criticised over its new £738m rail system, being rolled out from 2022.

But it said it had put customers "at the heart" of its plans.

People travelling on services between Cardiff, Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil will have to use station toilets, with none on board the trams.

Baroness Grey-Thompson, who has spina bifida, said: "They are buying trains for the next 30 years - if they don't get it right, they are creating problems for that long."

She said trams without toilets were standard in other cities and people in Wales would need a "change of mindset".

"Step-free trains would make life miles better if you can get off, the toilet is unlocked, the station is manned and you can get to it," she added.

"If it was step free and there were accessible toilets at the stations, I would probably take that."

Image copyright KeolisAmey
Image caption The new trams would operate across much of South Wales

A spokesman for TfW said accessible toilets formed a "key priority" for its services.

"We are creating a modern metro-style service, with tram-trains which need the ability to run on street," he added.

"As such, there are limited options available in the global rolling stock market for these types of vehicles with fully accessible toilets on board."

He said that 99% of valleys services would be step free and the numbers of accessible toilets at stations was being increased.

"(It) will mean that passengers will never be more than 20 minutes away from a toilet," he added.

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