TRANSPORT for Wales [TfW] have not served Pembrokeshire well since they took over from Arriva in December 2018.

We have had two spells of bus substitution for a month [three for the Pembroke line] and there is some chaos with the changed train times.

Great Western Railway [GWR] now run electric trains between Cardiff and Paddington. They are about 12 minutes faster, and start earlier.

Unfortunately, TfW has not adjusted the times of Pembrokeshire trains to match.

Most of our journeys to and from London will take longer.

The Pembroke line is badly affected: going to London, times to change trains at Swansea are mostly one to four minutes, but for two: 0 minutes [at 11.22]!

A slight delay in the Pembroke train will mean an hour's wait. Returning, waits at Swansea are longer as GWR trains arrive about 20 minutes earlier.

TfW publishes a free handy Timetable [no.3] for West Wales rail passengers.

Pages 62 to 86 give trains between S.Wales and Cheltenham, and details are clear and accurate.

Unfortunately, the West Wales tables are not!

Many pages list trains in the wrong order, resulting in apparent connections that don't exist. Again, the Pembroke line is badly served; some trains are even on the wrong page! There are normally 10 trains to a page.

Page 20 has trains in the following order:

(X), 1, 2, (Y), 4, 8, 9, 5, 6, 7, 10. X should be on page 19, while Y is printed on page 19 instead!

Page 40 has trains in the order 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 8; page 41 has 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 2, 8, 7, 9, 10.

On page 28, the Pembroke train, column 10, should be the seventh train on p.27; similarly on page 60.

There are other errors.

Page 12, column 4, has a GWR train from Fishguard at 2.37, arriving Paddington 7.44. GWR hasn’t operated from Fishguard for many years.

Furthermore, the train [bus?] arrives at Carmarthen at 3.29, then leaves Swansea at 4.58; but there is no mention of it departing from Carmarthen, nor of arriving at Swansea.

Actually, these are two separate trains which do not connect. Passengers wait at Carmarthen for 1½ hours before continuing their journey.

I'm told Carmarthen isn't at its best around 4am.

Connecting trains [red in the booklet], while not wrong, are often misjudged, meaning long waits. Pages 28 & 29 list Paddington departures in this order: 1648, 1618, 1715, 1747, 1717; some are half an hour before the one which actually connects at Swansea; the 17.15 gives 19 minutes to change trains, but TfW says catch the 16.18 and wait 50 minutes at Cardiff!

It seems TfW do not have faith in GWR timekeeping!

These are a few examples of how this published timetable will mislead the public.

Pembrokeshire Rail Travellers Association members have been supplied with the PRTA's corrected version.

To join PRTA, contact Peter Absolon: 01646 693498;


[PRTA Timetable & Fares editor]