Detailed plans for the south Wales Metro that's to better link Cardiff with the valleys have been revealed, and of course there's uproar about something. In this case, it's the lack of toilets on the £738m project that's irritating the would-be commuters of the near future.
The tram-trains are part of the greater Cardiff Capital Region redevelopment, which is attempting to link-up bus and rail in the area and introduce a few new stations and routes along the way – bringing in a London underground-style route map too, that'll make Abergavenny and Newport appear well futuristic. These tram-trains will serve standard rail stations as well as new on-street stops, hence their hybrid nature.
But they won't have toilets, a fact that some with health issues that generate more urgent needs say could end up worsening the local transport network for them. Transport for Wales said travellers should "...never be more than 20 minutes away from a toilet," although this could well mean getting off at a station and interrupting a journey to do so; again making a trip worse.
Welsh minister Leanne Wood said: "It's a really bad idea. Some people will be travelling for more than an hour on the train. It's not feasible to get off at a station and wait however long for the next train to come along. When you consider things like rugby internationals, this could be a disaster."
TfW says it'll have a look, but tram-trains are a bit of a transportation niche already, and models with toilets are pretty much impossible to find, as they're primarily built for short, urban trips. [BBC]
Image credit: Wikipedia