European Commission could boost Wales’ infrastructure

Challenge to UK and Welsh governments to utilise €50bn fund

On October 19th 2011, the European Commission adopted a proposal which will fund €50billion worth of investment to improve transport, energy and digital networks throughout Europe with the aim of creating a unified transport network (TEN-T).

The Commission says the “Connecting Europe Facility” will finance projects which will fill the missing links in Europe’s transport and digital backbone, and make Europe’s economy greener by promoting cleaner transport modes, high speed broadband connections and facilitating the use of renewable energy.

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards and Assembly Member colleague Rhodri Glyn Thomas have written to both the UK and Welsh Government Transport Ministers bringing their attention to the €50billion project and promoted the benefits of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire as an ideal point for a southern corridor route to and from the Republic of Ireland.

Mr. Thomas also said that Wales has been omitted from the plan in its current format and has called on both the Welsh and UK Governments to ensure Wales benefits from inclusion in the Ten-T Network.

The MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr said:

“With the European Commission looking to invest €50million around Europe, this is an ideal opportunity for the Welsh and UK Governments to press the case for investment in south Wales.

“Maritime ports are considered the entry and exit point for land infrastructure within the network.  Milford Haven being the third largest port in the British state would make an ideal point for a southern corridor route to and from the Republic of Ireland.

“I understand the current proposals exclusively focus on Liverpool as the route to Ireland.  A designated route along south Wales would have significant economic benefits for the region, including the communities I represent in Carmarthenshire, as well as the future development of Milford Haven as a port.

  

Constituency colleague and Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on Transport in the National Assembly, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, added:

“Wales has been omitted from the current €50billion plan.  If robust representations are made to promote south Wales as the natural passage to and from Ireland, the fund could potentially see electrification of the whole of the Great Western railway and beyond.

“Now is the time for the Labour Welsh Government to ‘stand up for Wales’ and ensure we do not miss this considerable opportunity to upgrade our infrastructure and connect Wales with the rest of Europe.” 

ENDS

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