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Friday, December 03, 2010

Cost of Ieuan Air rises by 50%

Another busy day so once more blogging will be light, but I felt it was important to note the outrageous decision to renew the highly subsidised air link between Cardiff and Anglesey at a cost of £1.2 million a year to the public purse. That is a 50% increase in the subsidy at a time of severe public service cuts, including the transport budget itself.

This Welsh Government-subsidised link is dubbed “Ieuan Air” because it serves the Ynys Môn constituency of Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones. Manx Air will provide the North-South connection for the next four years.

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, Jenny Randerson tells the Western Mail:

“This controversial air link not only pumps thousands of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere but has already cost the Welsh taxpayer £3.2m in public subsidy. The renewal sees the subsidy rocket from £800,000 a year to £1.2m a year and will take the total bill to £8m.”

She is absolutely right. The renewal of this contract destroys any claim of the Labour Plaid Cymru Government to be environmentally friendly or sustainable.
The real cost of Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones to Wales springs from his failure to turn the Welsh economy around. He's served longer than the current First Minister and yet Wales is at the bottom of just about every economic league table and his own constituency of Anglesey is the poorest in the nation.
What do you think of the Lib Dem Councilor on Anglesey who thought that this service from Anglesey to Cardiff was paying dividends to the islands economy?
We need a railway line from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen that can link up with the London trains via Swansea and links made in the north to Wrexham and Bangor. What about a North/South Motorway from Pont Abraham to the A55 not an airline for Ieaun Wyn Jones personal use.
He is entitled to his view but clearly I think he is wrong. He needs to see the bigger picture.
Personally I agree with the service as it's impossible to get from Cardiff to Anglesey in good time on the train- until you can do it in times similar to Cork-Dublin (thats 2.5h) it should stay.

The BIG issue, is the "WAG" express train. I was wondering Peter, do you know how much of the subsidy goes in supporting 'the 1st class cart'? I hope its nothing!. I once treated myself on it- I was on it alone all the way from Newport to Holyhead, and worst still I paid for it because I thought I'd get Wi-fi & power cable- I didn't!!.

Surley this money should be used to improve trains in Wales- I don't know if this is WAG's fault or Arriva or UK Gov- I understand rolling stock is complicated.
But we need trains similar to Virgin- power supply, wi-fi, clean, cafe (for all) on board. Do you know how this can be done??

Then and only then could you start saying there is an alternative to the intra-Wales flight.

On a positive: the times I have used Arriva- it has been on time. But everything else about it is bad!
....oh an just to clear up comments on 'Lib Dem Councillor'. This is a mere councillor on the fringes- nobody can take it seriously!
The plaid-bots should not be allowed to deflect attention from this arrangement - it is a shocking matter which would not be tolerated anywhere other than in wales.

ieuan and his cronies should be obliged to use arriva trains to see what we, the poor beggars who foot the bill for his flights, have to put up.
I think you'll find that many Highland Islands of Scotland get intra-Scot SUBSIDISED flights. Sure there not connected by two bridges, so let's look at another.

There are SUBSIDISED flights from Cork to Gallway (see www.manx2.com), and that is UNDER 3h by car! but I'm not too sure about via railway. What about in England?

Well despite fantastic road and rail conncections there are several flights (though not subsididesd) between Manchester and London. So it does happen!.

This flight issue is just political imho. £1.2m would buy less than half a mile in road, and very little in the railway.

It's impossible to get from N.W Wales by train in 'good time'. 4.5h is a joke! and the actual trains are horrendous!. So if you want a full day in the 'diff this is ideal. And to be fair, a 'on the day' fare is more expensive than what manx2 charges so it is accessible.

The LibDem should stop this, as it REALLY benefits people in N.W Wales.

Instead destroy the WAG by pressing on why the rolling-stock is horrendous. Or the UK Gov, or Arriva, or NetRail- depending who's responsibility it is. Because this pitiful amount of money, on a air service that really does help business and leisure on Anglesey is not worth fighting on!.
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