HIGH SPEED RAIL FROM LONDON TO GERMANY – BUT NOT TO WALES

Plaid Cymru’s transport spokesperson at Westminster, Jonathan Edwards MP, has criticised the continued failure of the UK Government to invest in the Welsh railway network as German national rail company, Deutsche Bahn, launched plans for a 2013 high speed rail service from London to Frankfurt. The Carmarthenshire MP says that it is vital that Wales is included in order to make the county’s economy sustainable. Tourism as well as buisness rely on good transport links an the decision by the ConDem coalition to ignore Wales will damage the economic recovery in the county.

Mr Edwards said:

“It is ridiculous to think that high speed rail will link London with Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt, but that the UK Government will not even consider investing in high speed rail to Cardiff and Swansea.

“More than that, in the next few weeks, they are likely to ditch even the planned electrification of the Great Western line which was announced last year.

“The importance of high speed rail for Wales is not just to link us with London but with major international markets for our goods and services.

“With English cities such as Birmingham and those in the north of England becoming much closer to London and the continent in terms of travel time, Welsh industry and passengers will, quite literally, be left behind.

“In a time of economic hardship the best possible investment is in infrastructure, because of its long-term benefits.

“This makes the electrification of the Great Western line and the introduction of High Speed Rail to Wales an attractive investment because it will underpin and sustain economic recovery in south Wales.

“Wales is alongside Albania and Moldova in Europe in not having more than a mile of electrified rail-track. What more proof do we need that London is leaving us behind?

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