Wales politics

Welsh Conservative conference: Andrew RT Davies, train announcer

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Media captionThe party is keen to emphasise investment in the rail lines

Leading Welsh Conservative Andrew RT Davies greeted rail passengers over the loudspeaker system en route to his party's Welsh spring conference in Swansea this weekend.

It was all change for Mr Davies who made the stop announcement on an Arriva Trains Wales service between Bridgend and Neath.

Passengers were met by a message from the head of the Tory group in the Welsh assembly that was a slight departure from the usual.

He said: "This is Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives. I hope you've enjoyed your journey with Arriva Trains Wales today.

"If you haven't, please contact Edwina Hart, the Transport Secretary.

"But please be careful when you are alighting the train and watch the gap between the platforms and the train itself."

Film crews squeezed into a small cabin at the back of the train. The conductor gently urged a cameraman not to sit on the brake.

The passengers generally seemed to think Mr Davies had done a fairly good job, although a couple suggested they would have liked to have seen him dishing out drinks and snacks from a trolley instead.

One woman was heard to say "bloody Liberal Democrats" as she left the train, an indication the Conservative message was not entirely getting through to the captive audience.

Mr Davies was keen to stress there was a serious point to the trip.

He said: "We're emphasising the investment the UK government is bringing into the rail network in south Wales.

'Great nation'

"In the next three to four years this rail network will be transformed with £350m, part of the expenditure on the London to Swansea line and that will allow a massive opportunity for south Wales to revolutionise its economy.

"We're going to transform this rail network after many years of under-investment and really show to the world Wales is open for business.

"And we believe this will be the springboard for electrifying the north Wales line, something that will transform opportunities in north Wales as well."

He said the message from the Welsh Conservative conference at the Liberty Stadium this weekend was that the only way to bring the change that the "great nation" of Wales needed was with the Conservatives.

He praised the Arriva Trains Wales staff for their "excellent work" and thanked them for allowing him to briefly use the station announcement system to draw attention to his message.

Later Mr Davies joined Welsh Secretary David Jones and UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to see a £20m project to replace the Loughor viaduct near Swansea with a new bridge.

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