Case for electrification to Swansea derailed by Labour Government incompetence

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Local AM and Plaid Cymru's Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Adam Price AM has today accused the Labour Welsh Government of derailing plans to electrify the main rail line between Cardiff and Swansea by failing to include a requirement for electrical local services in its franchise specification.

Although the specification is not a public document, Plaid Cymru understands from two reliable industry sources that it did not reflect the original business case in 2012 which proposed three local electric services west of Cardiff in addition to the inter-city service.

Adam Price AM said that this meant the Labour Welsh Government must "share responsibility" with the UK Government for the fact that the line between Swansea and Cardiff will not be electrified, due to its failure to make the case for local services.

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price AM said:

"The information brought to Plaid Cymru's attention by reliable transport industry sources implicate the Labour Welsh Government in the derailing of the plans to electrify the line between Cardiff and Swansea.

"Even though that specification document has not been made public due to the Welsh Government's refusal, the First Minister confirmed in the chamber this week that it did not call for 4 electrical trains per hour between Bridgend and Cardiff, as was done in the outline business case.

"This shows that the Labour Welsh Government must share responsibility with the UK Government for the chaos which has denied Wales the most basic of infrastructure developments.

"We are one of the few nations in Europe without a single mile of usable electrified track due to the chronic inaction of successive Labour and Tory administrations in Westminster.

"The Welsh Government has serious questions to answer over its inability to present a comprehensive and convincing case for electrification to the UK Department for Transport.

“If any franchise specification had included local electric services of the Cardiff to Swansea line, it would have been impossible for Network Rail to abandon proposals for this upgrade as this would have rendered the tender otherwise null and void.

"The Labour Government must come clean with the people of Wales. Is it by accident or design that they have yet again failed to properly connect our country?."


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