Wales

Coronavirus: Transport for Wales closes stations with short platforms

Llanfairpwll station Image copyright Jaggery/geograph.org.uk
Image caption Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch is the longest place name in Europe

Several Welsh stations are to lose train services for a "short time" because their platforms have raised social distancing concerns.

They are either too short or too curved to allow the opening of two train doors, Transport for Wales (TfW) said.

Services will no longer stop at Llanfairpwll and Valley on Anglesey, Conwy, Gilfach Fargoed in Caerphilly county or Sugar Loaf in Powys.

The changes come into force on Monday, TfW said.

Prees and Hopton Heath and Yorton in Shropshire, and Earlestown in Merseyside, England, are also affected.

A TfW spokesman told the Local Democracy Reporting Service risk assessments had found two train doors had to be in operation to allow a safe distance between customers and conductors.

The move has been criticised by Anglesey county councillors in Llanfairpwll, who said passengers would be forced onto buses to catch rail services from Bangor.

Councillor Alun Mummery said: "In our view, the move is quite ridiculous when you consider that services, albeit limited, have been running through Llanfair all through the pandemic.

"Yet now that restrictions are slowly being lifted, we're told that trains will no longer stop here.

"It makes no sense to be honest."

Councillor Gwilym O Jones said there were similar concerns in Valley, but he accepted the difficulties facing TfW and had invited a representative to address the Valley community council.

The island's member of the Senedd (MS), Rhun ap Iorwerth, added: "Safety is vitally important of course, but to say that the only safety measure possible is to effectively stop the service for many rail users seems unreasonable to me.

"Rail links to and from these Anglesey stations are essential for many users including key workers, who have kept Wales going throughout this pandemic."

He said TfW had told him it was looking into a rail replacement services.

A TfW spokesperson said the safety of its customers and staff was its top priority.

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