Boris Johnson defends lack of rail spending in Wales with promise of ‘fantastic agenda’ to improve links
The Prime Minister has defended the lack of rail spending in Wales by promising a “fantastic agenda” of improvements.
According to research by Cardiff University, the Welsh Government will receive less money to spend on transport “for decades” thanks to HS2 being designated an England and Wales project – despite not entering Wales at all. The total underspend on Welsh rail as a result amounts to near £5bn.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Newport East MP Jessica Morden challenged Boris Johnson on the ack of infrastructure in Wales, pointing to an article in the Western Mail.
“Wales has 11% of the UK rail network, yet receives only 2% of UK rail enhancement funding and, as reported on WalesOnline, will be denied billions of consequential funding from HS2,” the Labour MP said.
“Having under-delivered on rail in the north, and having under-delivered on rail in Wales, why should anyone trust this Government to deliver on their promises?”
Boris Johnson however pointed to the Union Connectivity Review published last week, which promised a major overhaul of the transport connections across the north and south of Wales and England.
“I am afraid that she has completely failed to look at what Sir Peter Hendy set out in his Union connectivity review,” the Prime Minister answered.
“It is a fantastic agenda for change and improvement, particularly in Wales and particularly on the north Welsh corridor where the railway links deserve to be improved and will be improved under this Government.”
The Union Connectivity Review plan will aim to bring about fast journey times across the border on the A55 and M4, faster journey times from England across the South Wales and North Wales main lines and rail links from the English Midlands to Cardiff.