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Billion-pound rail plan for north Wales is ‘unprecedented’, says UK minister

23 Feb 2024 2 minute read
Transport Secretary Mark Harper. Photo James Manning/PA Wire

A project to electrify a major rail line in north Wales will involve “unprecedented investment”, UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper said.

The Government plans to provide £1 billion to fund a major upgrade of the North Wales Main Line, which will include electrification.

This will be funded by money saved from cancelling the plan to extend HS2 north of Birmingham, according to the Department for Transport.

The scheme would improve journeys on a 126-mile route between Crewe, Warrington, Wrexham and Holyhead, where ferry services run to and from Dublin.

Llandudno

Mr Harper met local MPs, councillors and business leaders in Llandudno on Friday to discuss how the project will benefit the region.

The Cabinet minister told the PA news agency: “It’s unprecedented investment in this part of the world.”

He said there is “cross-party” support for the plan.

“It’s a big investment,” he said. “People very much welcome it.”

The project to electrify the Great Western railway line between London and south Wales ran several times over the expected budget of around £900 million.

Electrification

Mr Harper said: “We talked this morning about the lessons learned from electrification elsewhere.

“We’ve learned a lot from the electrification of the Great Western line.”

Asked when the North Wales Main Line project will happen, Mr Harper said it is “too early” to give a timetable.

He added: “I’m not going to pluck a figure out of the air.

“I think people are very realistic.”


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Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago

Assuming it even goes ahead.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

I dont believe this will get off the ground. David Cameron promised the electrification of the railways to Swansea from London, and the valleys, but it never happened, it stopped at Cardiff,and rail experts are saying it will cost closer to 2 billion to complete the main line in the north. It is also “unprecedented ” for the UK Gov to spend any money for infrastructure in Cymru, remember that the south Wales metro has been part funded by the EU, make no mistake about it, that without the EU money the metro would never have been started. This speech… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

All stations from Crosbie to England via 5 Tory counties…

Aladdin will be back in his American lamp soon so the last illusion or two to try to con a vote along the north coast is his farewell tour…

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
1 month ago

More promises they will never keep! No money for Schools, NO money for Hospitals, No money for people on their uppers, But money for Rail,
It must be an Election Year. Remember how many ‘promised’ both Sunak and Starmer have gone back on . BOTH Utterly untrustworthy, Vote foe anyone else but them!

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago

How can you tell it’s an election year? Tories promising stuff that they know Starmer won’t deliver even though it’s all desperately needed. A plague on both of them.

The best we can hope for is a hung parliament where Starmer has to go into coalition with the SNP. I hope that happens!

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Unfortunately to the SNP are projected to lose seats. If in the unlikely event we do get a hung parliament, Starmer will probably go with the Lib Dems.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Lib Dems will be in an even worse state after the election

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Actually the LDs are projected to get around 30 seats, whereas the SNP would fall to around 18. They will make gains off tactical voters in seats in rural England where Labour cannot win. Starmer has also ruled out an SNP coalition. Unfortunately a hung parliament isn’t going to happen, so we will have to put up with the Labour-Tory duopoly for a long while yet.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rob
Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Basically they have run it down so much it will take a large wedge of cash to make it good? What they are in fact saying is they let it get so bad in the last 14 years this needs a major chunk of loot.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Hmm. .. good timing, just before a GE. What’s the betting that if the Tories do get back in it’ll be scrapped. It would be great for North Wales but what we really need is a joined up rail and road service connecting North and South Wales. Of course that’ll never happen, keep us divided and we’ll stay bound to incompetent, neglectful Westminster.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

How about let Wales control its own infrastructure projects, like every other country does? How about investing in improved North-South links.

anthony owen
anthony owen
1 month ago

Hmmm, This Govt have a long record of promising things that never get delivered. This being an election year would have nothing to do with such promises would it!

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