A PASSENGER has protested to her MP and First Minister of Wales about two packed rail journeys which she says made a mockery of social distancing.

Mrs Christine Wilkinson, a retired solicitor, said that this was wrong, because any risk of Covid transmission could also involve others – “and even train staff” and included an official announcement about passengers travelling “at their own risk.”

She was returning home to Dyserth from London. All went well on a social-distancing comfortable Avanti train to Crewe, with booked seats. A hundred passengers with their luggage protested when a two-coach Transport for Wales diesel train was provided for the connecting trip to Chester.

“It was idiotic,” said Mrs Wilkinson. “There were business people and families travelling, - after all it is the holiday season.

“There was an announcement that they could not offer a socially-distanced service and anyone not happy could get off and wait for the next service,” she recalled.

It was the same when she boarded another two-coach unit at Chester, which was bound for Holyhead. “We stood in the aisle next to seated passengers, making a nonsense of seats blocked off and not for use.

“Social distancing is fair enough – but not when the railway company doesn’t provide sufficient coaches and you can’t book seats.”

She has written to her MP Dr James Davies, First Minister Mark Drakeford, and to other politicians.

A spokesman for Transport for Wales, which is owned by the Welsh Government, said : “Our priority is to provide the safest possible service for people making essential journeys. Capacity on public transport services throughout Wales remains limited due to social distancing and reduced timetables on many routes, in line with Welsh Government guidance.

“We urge everyone to continue to help keep Wales safe by following our Travel Safer message and avoid using public transport for non-essential journeys, so that we can provide a safe service for people with no alternative means of travel.”