This post was originally published on this site

Via @glynbeddau

 As we await the result of the “Welsh” Labour leadership election cabinet ministers in the Welsh Assembly are probably wondering what effect we be the result on their own jobs as an inevitable reshuffle begins.

It used to be that an ambitious AM would be praying “Please not Health” as the inevitable dissatisfaction occurs.
However it maybe that the one job they all will be trying to avoid is Transport.

The Wasting Mule reports that

The current occupier of the seat Ken Skates has answered questions this morning about the first few weeks of the Transport for Wales franchise.Mr Skates is the cabinet member responsible for transport and appeared in front of AMs on the economy, infrastructure and skills committee alongside two senior civil servants.Last week, bosses for the service were grilled by the same committee about disruption through the first few weeks of the service.They said that the “best experts in Europe” had been brought in but were struggling to explain what had caused so many trains to go out of service last month – and the knock on effect on delays and cancellations.It will take 20/30 years to complete the south Wales metro says senior civil servant Simon Jones“The Manchester Metro wasn’t built in one go, it was over 20 or 30 years, the same will be true,” said Mr Jones, the Welsh Government’s director for economic infrastructureAt one point, only 86 out of 127 trains were in service – the rest were being repaired Mr Skates says its been a “Herculean” effort to get train numbers back up (from its low of 86/127) and it will be back to normal service (103 trains) “within days”.Arriva did the “minimum”“The trains were maintained to an absolute minimum standard,” said Mr SkatesA week or 10 days more needed resolve the worst problems”A week or 10 days is what was promised by TFW…hopefully by the beginning of next week we’ll be back on target. That’s what TFW were promising to you last week,” said Mr Skates.Will next autumn be better?“Yes, we have more fleet that will become available to us…there are good reasons for optimism for next autumn,” said Mr Jones.Transport for Wales is doing more than Arriva would have done if it was still in chargeMr Skates says he does not believe under ATW the number of trains back on the tracks would now be back to 100, because of staff completing 1,000 hours of ovRussell George asks “Can you provide target date when you expect services to be operating as a passenger would expect?”

“A week or 10 days is what was promised by TFW…hopefully by the beginning of next week we’ll be back on target. That’s what TFW were promising to you last week”.

At 7.30pm on Tuesday, a day before Transport Minister Ken Skates was grilled about the new rail franchise. had to be evacuated from a train after it caught fire.
The small external fire started after a fault on the Transport for Wales train from Cardiff to Treherbert.
People on the train were evacuated at Radyr, but bosses at the train company said there was no smoke in the carriages.
One passenger said the fire seemed to be on the underside of the carriage.
A spokesperson for Transport for Wales said: “We can confirm that a fault in the axle box on the undercarriage of one of our services last night led to the area overheating, which caused a small external fire.
“Customers were evacuated at Radyr but there was no smoke in the carriages and no customers or train crew were injured
“Both the driver and conductor on-board acted quickly to ensure the safety of customers before using a fire extinguisher on the affected area.
“The fire service arrived on the scene soon afterwards and confirmed the train was safe to move.
“We would like to thank the fire service and our train crew for their quick actions and to apologise to all those on board who were affected.”
It happened at around 7.30pm on Tuesday, a day before Transport Minister Ken Skates was grilled about the new rail franchise.
Assuming Labour win the next Assembly Election, the Minister fir Transport could face an unhappy period of being constantly grilled by opposition AMs and the media for the whole of the next Assembly and the may have to put any leadership ambitions on the back burner You may wonder is some of Labour AMs would not be averse to a coalition with Plaid and dumping Transport on one of thier AMs after the election.