This report considers issues relating to the Welsh Government’s powers and wider influence in respect of rail infrastructure and services, and related Welsh Government investment. The report also considers the performance of services on the Wales and Borders franchise and plans for the procurement of Wales and Borders services from 2018.
We concluded that within the constraints of its limited powers, the Welsh Government has been proactive in seeking to influence funding decisions by others and has made a significant investment to improve rail infrastructure and services over recent years. The Welsh Government believes that the additional powers it expects to gain in 2017 to procure the next Wales and Borders franchise will help it to ensure that the next franchise meets its priorities and delivers further improvements in service performance. However, the procurement presents a number of risks, challenges and opportunities for the Welsh Government with some key decisions still to be made.