Transport for Wales CAF Class 197 DMU at Blaenau Ffestiniog (Photo TfW)

The Welsh government has announced that the annual increase in regulated fares in Wales from March 5 is to be capped at 5·9%, the same as the UK government’s increase in England. The usual formula based on the rate of inflation from the previous summer would have seen increases of 12·3% in 2023. 

Luton Dart 2

The DART shuttle between Luton Airport and Luton Airport Parkway station is to open for passengers with a limited service from March 10, with the full service expected to start in late March. 

Anthony Smith is to step down as Chief Executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus at the end of the year. ‘This has been a very personal decision but it is time the organisation had some fresh leadership‘, he said on February 27. ‘I’m proud to have been part of the evolution and development of Transport Focus, working with the fantastic team here to make sure transport users’ voice is kept at the heart of decision-making.‘ 

As part of the £34m modernisation of Middlesbrough station, Story Contracting is to install steel sections fabricated by local company CB Construction (Cleveland) Ltd using steel from British Steel. ‘We’ve worked tirelessly over recent months to make sure that all structural steel used on the station redevelopment will come from British Steel’, said Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. 

East Midlands Railway is to install seats from its fleet of Hitachi Class 810 Aurora inter-city trains at East Midlands Parkway and Leicester stations in the coming weeks, following similar displays at Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby stations which were launched in November. The previews enable passengers to try the Fisa Lean seats before they are fitted to the trains; EMR says it has worked with Derby-based DG Design to refine the seat to ‘offer enhanced comfort and support’.

Story office

On February 16 Story Contracting officially opened an office in Birmingham to strengthen its footprint in the Midlands. The civil engineering company said it has a wide range of job opportunities within its rail and plant teams, and ‘ambitious plans’ to expand. 

The Department for Transport appointed Matthew Campbell-Hill on February 21 as Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. A former Team GB wheelchair fencer, he will work alongside DfT to advise government on disability issues. ‘As a seasoned traveller with lived experience of disability, I am looking forward to working with the excellent team in place to help them continue to share their expertise with the government’, he said. ’The transport landscape has rapidly evolved in recent years, and I am passionate about leveraging this momentum to improve accessibility and inclusiveness.’