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England-Wales road and rail links to be discussed in ‘Union connectivity review’ after bridge to Ireland scrapped

22 Nov 2021 2 minute read
A GWR train at Cardiff Central station. Phot by Dai Lygad is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Road and rail links between England and Wales and from England into Scotland will be the focus of a ‘Union connectivity review’ published this week – after earlier plans for a bridge to Ireland were scrapped.

A bridge or tunnel from Wales or Scotland to Ireland had been under serious discussion in Whitehall but found to be impractical.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in May that a tunnel between Holyhead and Dublin would be presented to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a “comparator” to the separate idea of a tunnel or bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, with only one of the two going ahead.

But neither will now get off the ground – or under it – after UK Government sources told the Telegraph that they were not feasible. Instead, the “recommendations for boosting connections across the Union are expected to focus instead on road and rail links to Wales and to Scotland”.

“More time was spent investigating the feasibility of a tunnel, with input from two engineering professors. A sub-sea road tunnel was deemed a non-starter on account of its proposed length, because it would take too long for emergency responders to arrive if vehicles crashed in the middle.”

Instead, the review will focus on road and rail links between England and Wales and Scotland, they said.

The review published this week could bring the UK Government into conflict with the Welsh Government, after the interim report published in Mrach recommended “relief from congestion for the M4 corridor in South Wales”.

The Welsh Government decided to scrap the M4 relief road in 2019, a decision opposed by the UK Government.

The interim report also recommended better port capacity at Holyhead, and connections from Ynys Môn and the north of Wales coast to Merseyside and Manchester for freight and passengers.


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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 months ago

So England can extract more out of Wales and Scotland yes? This is just for their own benefit like it always has been.

Derek Amitri
Derek Amitri
10 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Sorry, replied to wrong comment.

Last edited 10 months ago by Derek Amitri
George Bodley
George Bodley
10 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Ah rape of the fair countries part 2

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Extract what exaclty?

Paul
Paul
10 months ago

We need faster links to Bristol TM. Madness that Cardiff – TM takes almost 50 minutes.

(This would massively benefit both cities, before someone calls be a little Englander)

George Bodley
George Bodley
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Little englander it will benefit bristol more same way the cardiff wales airport was restricted by the english government because they feared cardiff would take business away from bristol airport old son

Gareth
Gareth
10 months ago

When the ROI have recently started direct routes to the EU for shipping, and now by-pass mainland Britain, the new plan from Westminster is to increase capacity for Holyhead port. What am I missing here, are we about to see the ROI reverse direct routes to the EU, or is London talking B^**^**s again. Why don’t they just shut up, and sort out the sleaze problems they have, and stop day dreaming.

Derek Amitri
Derek Amitri
10 months ago

As an Englishman with all my in-laws in Wales, a fast train from Crewe to Bangor/Holyhead every hour is essential. At the moment there is a gap of several hours a day with no service at all, and the TfW train to Birmingham is prohibitively slow.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Derek Amitri

No-one in Wales cares about how much of a victim you are. It would be a total waste of money and resources to do it hourly and it would be at our expense, not yours.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
10 months ago
Reply to  Derek Amitri

Bangor to Crewe takes 90 minutes and there are 15 trains a day.

Try Bangor to Aberystwyth, which is rather more necessary in the context of a train service in Cymru. Five and three-quarter hours for 56 miles. 11 trains a day, change in England, but who’d bother to take them?

Gareth
Gareth
10 months ago
Reply to  Derek Amitri

I sympathize with you, I have relatives in Munich, Germany, and I have campaigned for years for a direct high speed train link from Pontypridd to Munich, but the UK Gov has shown no appetite at all to help me out. Perhaps to help maintain the union and get me onboard, they could start work as soon as possible. Like you, I view my rail link as essential.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Derek Amitri

I want a high speed rail from my home town to Poland as I have family there. Woe is me. Won’t anyone please think of ME?

Gavin
Gavin
10 months ago

Wales needs links between the cities and towns of our own country.

As it is all roads go to England, leaving towns like Aberystwyth and many other disconnected from the main roads of the North and South. Forcing them to stagnate through isolation.

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  Gavin

The economy of North Wales is far more integrated into the North West of England.
The South more integrated into the South West of England.

R W
R W
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

That”s because all the good road and rail links have been built from west to east out of Wales and into England. It” s now time to concentrate on improving and integrating the transport system from north to south within our own country to truly unite our nation.

Peter Williams
Peter Williams
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

And why is this? Because our railway system is a relic of our industrial past where we largely exported raw materials and freight. Decades of underinvestment by Westminster has prevented improved connectivity within Wales. We need better connections with England alongside improved routes within Wales. Why can’t Welsh commuters enjoy levels of investment found in England?

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Williams

Why is this?

Because Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol are bigger richer cities for Welsh companies to trade with?

George Atkinson
George Atkinson
10 months ago

Not when they are stealing natural resources from our country. It’s absolutely normal wanting to benefit from your nations own wealth instead of allowing others to steal it.

Paul Reynolds
10 months ago

What are they “stealing” exactly?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

Our water, electricity, gold, hydro energy, wind power, money made from the stolen land that is the crown estate, oil, gas, our taxes. Everything that would make us rich without their thievery.

Last edited 10 months ago by GW Atkinson
Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Water – two reservoirs owned by English water companies that pay Wales for the going rate. Electricity – that goes into a European wide network that the generators in Wales get paid for. Wales’ demand is increasing. Oil – you don’t have any Gas – ditto. (Valero in Pembrokeshire belongs to an American company. Always has. It serves the whole to Europe and the UK. Good look trying to claim ownership of that.) Gold – Dolaucothi gold mine was bequeathed to the National Trust by its Welsh owner. There is very little economically extractable gold in there. Unless you plan… Read more »

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

Paul Water – the two reservoirs owned by English water companies are not paying Wales anything at all, the water consumers in England pay the English water companies and their profits get taxed in England (not Wales) thus showing as tax raised in England from Welsh natural resources. The water companies also pay dividends to the private shareholders who (mostly) don’t live in Wales and therefore don’t get taxed in Wales. If it was renationalised by an independent Welsh government the profits from a Welsh natural resource would stay in Wales (and don’t give me any guff about how we… Read more »

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

You don’t have a clue what is happening here in Wales. You just spout the same ignorant Britnat cr*p we have been hearing for the past 30 years. This is about the taxes that would normally stay in an independent country instead of being sent to London and classed as English corporation tax. That corporation tax thing you English keep banging on about doesn’t differentiate between Wales and England. So an English company can sell our resources and then its classed as English corporation tax when it should be kept in Wales to benefit us and not the occupiers. Ask… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

According to a BBC article, England would pay £2.5 million for 300million cubic meters of water, United utilities on their web site say 1 cubic meter costs £3.08. So the water going to England is not at the “going rate” as you stated.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-44966131.

Derek Amitri
Derek Amitri
10 months ago

It’s possible to be a nationalist and still be in favour of rail links. Nationalists would soon complain if the Severn Bridges or M56 were closed down.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Derek Amitri

I would rather I could travel from one end of my country to the other without having to make a massive time wasting detour through England and paying extra for it.The only other country on the planet that people can’t go from one end of their country to the other without going to their occupier is Palestine. We are in the same boat as Palestine on this.

Last edited 10 months ago by GW Atkinson
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
10 months ago
Reply to  Derek Amitri

We have plenty of mainline rail links between England and Cymru, we don’t need any more. It would be nice if they supported trains that could do, say 125mph, like the English main lines have done for half a century. Oh, and ran on electricity.

And could we also have trains that connect up within Cymru? Pretty please?

Just give us the £5 billion we’re owed for HS2 and we can solve all those issues.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
10 months ago

We could do with more links within our own country too!

Katy Fowler
Katy Fowler
10 months ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

This! Being able to go the length of Wales by rail, without having to travel through England would be good.

Marc
Marc
10 months ago

Before anything else, get the line between Cardiff and Swansea electrified as originally promised

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
10 months ago

Transport policy of the English Government for the last 800 years has been to worry about transport into and out of Cymru. It has never, and will never, give a toss about transport within Cymru.

We already have more than enough roads and rail tracks running across the border. Time to change the focus to journeys WITHIN Cymru.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
10 months ago

£50M a year since the Tories took power in 2010 is what they already owe us for rail investment. Pay us the £600M lump sum first then we can beging the discussion.

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

It’s always “pay us”; “give us” “we want”. Do you think if these plans could pay for themselves, they wouldn’t have been implemented already.

To build new railway through the centre of Wales, what happens when Welsh citizens have their homes compulsorily purchased?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

It’s our money. Does Wales not pay tax? Are you trying to tell me that all that tax that I have been paying out of my paypacket over the past 2 decades towards the English government, hasn’t gone there? That’s our money they are not distributing properly to us. They are holding back money that is rightfully ours. Which begs the question, what is the point of Westminster?

George Bodley
George Bodley
10 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

No bloody point at all roll on independence

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

If by its very nature the Barnet formula exists to give Wales £27 billion more than it raises in tax revenue, then where is money “kept back”?

Your tax, my tax, etc. It all goes to the UK HMRC. Wales is in the UK. Until there is anything like a majority for it leaving, it will remain so.

Last poll was 23% in favour of independence. That was during a lockdown when YesCymru was advertising on Facebook.

If anyone held a poll now you would be lucky to get over 20%

R W
R W
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

Taxes raised in supermarkets and other shops (other than small indepenents) from sales in Wales gets classed as taxes raised in England because their head offices are based in England. Not only that, we also get paid nothing for all the water and energy that England takes from us!! I”d say that overall we’re getting a pretty lousy deal from this arrangement!!

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  R W

When Iceland stores declare their taxes, where is their head office? Plus supermarkets sell food mainly and there is no VAT on that. Water? Two reservoirs out of 103 in Wales. Which yield around £37 million in revenue for NRW and they don’t even own them. Electricity? Is generated by private companies and goes into a European grid when which the billing companies pay for. Why would they do it for free? Two reservoirs don’t yield £27 billion of revenue. That is more than the whole of the UKs water and sewage costs. You lot are big on insults low… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Paul Reynolds
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
10 months ago

Why? It doesn’t benefit Wales.

But then I suppose it is all the better for extracting wealth from Wales.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
10 months ago

More Conservative lies & spin. As rightly highlighted by others. Any large infrastructure projects built by Westminster has facilitated wealth outwards to England not inwards to Wales.

‘Fool me once. Shame on you. Fool me twice. Shame on me.’

#YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿. #Ymlaen 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿. #Unionism 🇬🇧☢️. #FreeWales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿⛓️

George Bodley
George Bodley
10 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Well said them twerps have stolen our water our coal and resources and committed cultural genocide for long enough

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  George Bodley

How exactly are these things stolen? Are we back to Adam Price’s BLM era “slave” comparisons.

R W
R W
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

Because they never pay us anything for them you numbskull, they just take whatever they want.

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  R W

Water? Two reservoirs out of 103 in Wales. Which yield around £37 million in revenue for NRW and they don’t even own them.
Electricity? Is generated by private companies and goes into a European when which the billing companies pay for.
Why would they do it for free?
Two reservoirs don’t yield £27 billion of revenue. That is more than the whole of the UKs water and sewage costs.

Stop being such a whining Welsh nat victim,

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

No one is being a ‘whining Welsh nat’ as you put it. As an independent nation we would have the opportunity to make water and electricity usage benefit Wales.The water comes from Wales, the electricity is being grnerated in Wales, therefore we would be our right to apply rental charges to companies extracting these resources. That money will go to making Wales more prosperous and not the south east of England.Wales is getting little or nothing at the moment and don’t say it comes back via Westminster – it doesn’t, these’s a reason why we are one of the poorest… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
10 months ago

After years of neglect Westminster is now trying to throw the money around in order to stop the UK breaking up. It’s too little too late – why wasn’t it done before? Are the Tories really concerned about the Union or just the fact they’d be in control of less. As Michael Sheen stated, Wales is in an abusive relationship and, at the moment, it’s as if the abuser has returned home with a bunch of flowers to apologise. It’s not going to work – time we left.

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
10 months ago

While we have been watching the HS2 smokescreen. England has been actively restoring Beeching axed lines on a daily basis.
If we want anything for the people of Wales independence is the only way to go

Ken covack
Ken covack
10 months ago

The land of “milk and honey” promises once again from the torys and Boris Butcher Bodybags Johnson. They promised electrification of the main South Wales line, what did we get a half-arsed deal that fell far short of its promise, they promoted the Swansea Bay tidal Lagoon then pulled the plug on that, they robbed Wales of a massive chunk of the Barnett Formula to pay for HS2, and now it has been cancelled and the Northern Rail Power House has been scrapped, does Wales get the money back? Not likely, more likely sitting in the Camen Islands. They spent… Read more »

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