It has been revealed Arriva Train Wales has paid out more than £2.4 million in financial penalties, levied for delayed or cancelled services.

These statistics were revealed after Aberconwy Assembly Member, Janet Finch-Saunders, tabled a question in the Welsh Assembly to the cabinet secretary for economy and transport, Ken Skates.

The statistics show more than £130,000 a year has been paid out in financial penalties since 2010/11 with the most being paid out in the first year with a total of £1,016,261.30.

Results showed penalties levied totalled £1,016,261.30 in 2010/11, £411,757.05 in 2012/13, £245,674.69 in 2013/14, £156,978.70 in 2015/16, £489,242.39 in 2016/17 and £131,572.47 in 2017/18

Mrs Finch-Saunders said she had received a number of complaints over the years about the Conwy Valley line in particular but these figures were "quite startling".

She said: “These figures are quite startling – when you look at the amounts being paid out of poor service, it really is worrying.

“Whilst the sums have come down over the years, it is a concern that they remain higher than anyone would like.

"Travellers would much rather their services ran to the published timetables than the Welsh Government received another payout – so maybe the Cabinet Secretary needs to look at other ways to incentivise adequate performance.

“I will be scrutinising the Welsh Government on how this £2.4m has been spent, and where it is being invested – this should be prioritised to improve road and rail infrastructure around Wales – proactively future-proofing our transport system.”

“I look forward to the new contract commencing – many people are expecting big things in terms of service improvements, and it is imperative on KeolisAmey and the Welsh Government that we are not let down."

Arriva's Wales and Borders contract is coming to an end and Mr Skates, in answer to Mrs Finch-Saunders question, said the government would be keeping an eye on the incumbent company - KeolisAmey.

He added: "I was very disappointed to hear services on the Conwy Valley line have been cancelled due to trains requiring maintenance.

"I expect Arriva Trains Wales to manage their resources effectively to deliver timetabled services, and they will be financially penalised for failure to operate services.

"Transport for Wales will ensure that KeolisAmey meet their contractual obligations to operate services on this route.

"Transport for Wales will closely monitor the performance of KeolisAmey and will penalise them should they not meet the benchmarks set out in the contract in areas such as cancellations, short formation of services, passenger time lost and the condition of stations and trains.

"It is not possible at this stage to advise the level of financial penalties as this will depend on the number and scale of the failure to achieve the benchmarks."