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WALES SHOULD GET £1.9bn FROM HIGH SPEED TWO

16/01/2022

Plaid Cymru Transport spokesperson Jonathan Edwards MP has said that Wales should receive £1.9bn for transport infrastructure spending as a result of the £33bn Westminster government investment in High Speed Rail (HS2) this week.

Mr Edwards said that the precedent set by the Olympic Games – that public money being invested in a project almost exclusively to the benefit of England – meant that Wales should receive a Barnett consequential from the railway investment.

He argued that Wales had historically lost out on railway investment saying that the West Coast Main Line from London to Glasgow had been electrified by 1974 while Wales, like Albania and Moldova, currently has no public electrified railways.

Mr Edwards said:

“HS2 is a £33bn investment in England with very little benefit for Wales.

“Before Christmas the precedent was set over the Olympic Games that a project primarily for the benefit of England should see a ‘Barnett consequential’ for Wales.

“That would mean £1.9bn for Wales over the course of the building of HS2 during the next decade and a half.

“The Westminster Government is in charge of main line rail development, which includes electrification of railway lines in Wales.

“While the line from Glasgow to London was electrified as far back as 1974, there is currently not a single mile of public electrified railway in Wales, leaving us alongside Albania and Moldova at the bottom of the European table.

 “Plans for electrification of the Great Western Line stop at Cardiff, meaning that 80% of the work will be done in England and there are no plans to electrify the line to Swansea, Carmarthen and further west.

“This £1.9bn could ensure improved railway services across Wales as well as creating jobs within our communities.

“I hope that the Welsh Government will ensure that we do not lose out under these plans for HS2.”