Additional staff are being deployed across the network by Transport for Wales (TfW) to tackle antisocial behaviour, after statistics showed a rise in cases in recent days.
Since Wales exited its ‘firebreak’ period on November 9, 2020 there has been increasing numbers of passengers using services, as well as a rise in reported antisocial behaviour.
With increased numbers of shoppers expected to be travelling into towns and cities to take advantage of pre-Christmas sales, rugby fans visiting pubs to watch Wales play England, footfall is expected to significantly increase this weekend.
In preparation, TfW and British Transport Police are urging people to plan ahead, as well as deploying a greater number of staff around to support passengers and enforce safety regulations, particularly related to Covid-19 measures.
Welsh Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “I want to thank the vast majority of people who are travelling on our trains responsibly – as well as the Transport for Wales’ staff and the British Transport Police who make sure all passengers get to their destinations and back home safely.
“Physically distancing ourselves from other people where possible and wearing face coverings, unless exempt, will help suppress this awful virus.”
Last weekend almost 200 members of the public were refused travel by TfW staff for not wearing a face covering, anti-social behaviour or for being unfit to travel. Across the network, more than 2,000 people had to be asked to put on a face covering, which is a legal requirement on all public transport in Wales.
Leyton Powell, TfW safety and assurance director said: “The Wales and borders network is one of the safest in the UK, thanks to the hard work of TfW and BTP staff and the responsible behaviour of the vast majority of our passengers.
“As passenger numbers have grown in recent weeks, unfortunately we’ve also seen a small rise in anti-social behaviour and people failing to comply with the rules around face coverings.
“We want to reassure our customers we have deployed extra staff on trains and stations, especially on weekends, helping to keep everyone using our network safe.
“As we enter the Christmas period we are introducing even further measures to help people who may be unable to travel as a result of excess alcohol. This includes respite for vulnerable people, staff able to offer water and the use of rest areas until they are safe to travel.”