Welsh economy hit by no electrification

Local MP Jonathan Edwards and AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas have described the decision by the Conservative – Lib Dem UK Government to put on hold plans to electrify the Great Western main line to Swansea as disgraceful. Mr. Thomas said Carmarthenshire was dependant on the electrification as a boost for the local economy. Mr Edwards, who is Plaid’s Treasury spokesperson, says the delay is the UK government’s attempts to avoid electrifying rail in Wales.

Jonathan Edwards said:

“This just adds insult to injury.”

“When Danny Alexander was in front of the Assembly’s Finance Committee on Monday he couldn’t name a single infrastructure project of any sort that his government had left intact for Wales except for some signalling work outside Cardiff.

“It seems that the UK Government has been intent on delaying because they’re trying all ways possible to avoid electrifying to Swansea – or even through Wales at all.

“The Secretary of State needs to understand that these delays and uncertainties are not only unfair to travellers in Wales but risk undermining Wales on an economic level.

“They’re more than happy to spend a billion pounds on one train station in central London, but won’t spend the same amount to improve services that stretch for nearly 200 miles.

“My worry is that the new Con-Dem government want to go back to that plan and leave out Wales entirely.”

Rhodri Glyn Thomas added

“After losing out on millions of pounds worth of capital investment in the UK Government’s Spending Review this will be another blow to people of Carmarthenshire; many of whom use the First Great Western service for work.

“High speed rail to Swansea is crucial for all of South West Wales to be able to attract investment and to boost the local economy.

“It is fascinating that the Secretary of State for Wales and a series of Conservative MPs are fighting against high speed rail going through their constituencies over the border, but do absolutely nothing to deliver it for Wales where everybody wants it.

“Labour had the opportunity to press ahead with this work a long time ago but we know it was nothing more than a sound bite. They refused to start the project and left it to the mercy of the Conservatives and Lib Dems. Unfortunately we also know where Wales is on their priority list”.

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