Fair that Wales misses out on extra rail funding ‘because HS2 near Welsh border’ says Welsh Secretary
It’s fair that HS2 is classed as a Wales project and that Wales misses out on extra rail funding as a result because the high-speed train service will run near the Welsh border, the Welsh Secretary has said.
The UK Government has classed HS2 as an ‘England and Wales’ project meaning that Wales will not benefit in the same way as Scotland and Northern Ireland from additional rail funding as a result of the project.
A Cardiff University report found that if rail was devolved, Wales would have received an extra £514m investment in its rail infrastructure between 2011-12 and 2019-20 as a result of UK Government investment in HS2.
But speaking to Y Byd yn ei Le, the Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland defended the arrangement.
“HS2 runs to Crewe and Crewe will be a major transport hub,” he said.
“I think the settlement is absolutely fine. Crewe is within a few miles of north Wales, it’s going to be serving the people of north Wales brilliantly. There are plenty of projects that I’m focusing on that I want to see Wales get its fair share of money.
“I’ll be working hard on infrastructure projects in Wales, for Wales.”
Crewe station is 18.7 miles from the border of Wales at its nearest point near Holt.
Speaking at the start of the Welsh Conservative conference earlier this year, Andrew RT Davies had said that additional funding should now come to Wales.
“We’re making the case that Wales should receive its fair share of HS two spending,” he said in his speech.
“We believe that instead of banning roadbuilding like labour, we need to push on and build a modern and sustainable transport network of road and rail.
“That’s the way that we can bring our country closer together. and we can put up the sign that says Wales is open for business. Only that way we can attract the jobs we need to close Labour’s wage gap.”
But he said that it should go straight to Network Rail rather than the Welsh Government which would “squander and fritter it”.
“We’ve seen the comments this week about the Metro system going over budget and so I just think they’re incapable of delivering major infrastructure projects,” he told the Western Mail.
“And I think that that debate that discussion within the party will be robust but I hope that we come out the right side.”
In February, Wales’ First Minister slammed the UK Government’s “neglect” of rail infrastructure in Wales as “pathetic”. Labour have said that Wales faces missing out on £4.6 billion of funding overall.
However Levelling Up minister Michael Gove said Wales will “benefit significantly” due to HS2, Michel Gov.
“I do not think Wales loses out as a result of HS2,” he told the House of Commons. “I think north Wales in particular benefits significantly because of increased connectivity.”
Last year the cross-party Welsh Affairs committee called for the rail scheme to be reclassified as an ‘England only’ project.
“We recommend that HS2 should be reclassified as an England-only project,” it said. “Using the Barnett Formula, Wales’ funding settlement should be recalculated to apply an additional allocation based on the funding for HS2 in England.
“We suggest that such a reclassification would help to ensure that Welsh rail passengers receive the same advantage from investment in HS2 as those in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
HS2 is a high-speed railway that aims to improve links between London, the English midlands and the north of England with routes to Birmingham and Leeds.
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I would like to thank Mr Buckland for highlighting an issue which demonstrates perfectly the imperative of Cymru being an independent country. Great work from the Secretary of State for (taking money away from and keeping money away from) Wales.
The nearest significant urban area in Wales to Crew is Wrexham. The journey by car takes 47 minutes with the train journey usually taking 1hr 47minutes. HS2 will have very little quantifiable impact on Wales due to the very poor connections between where people live and the nearest railway on the new line.
Crewe has always been an important rail-hub, ask any train spotter.
The layout of this piece has gone a bit haywire Mark.
Funny, WS Robert Buckland highlights the Cardiff Metro being over budget and states how the Welsh Government are incapable of delivering major infrastructure projects. Look who’s talking lol. Didn’t ex-PM Boris Johnson promise to free the dragon’s nostrils easing the congestion at the Brynglas Tunnels by funding the M4 relief road but never did. Also the Tories scrapped both the Cardiff to Swansea rail electrification manifesto pledge and also dragged their feet over a six year period wasting millions only to shelve the decision to fund the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon. Yeah, the Tory never fail Wales , eh Robert… Read more »
It is a pity that Biden was not of Welsh heritage…
Is this guy taking the p**s? So because HS2 runs near the Welsh border we should be grateful. Earlier today he said that Cymru should have a bank holiday on St. David’s Day but only in exchange for another bank holiday. I am 73 and in that time I do not ever remember a Welsh Secretary who was of any benefit to us. Always fighting whatever we wanted or needed. Independence now.
Buckland’s Llanelli family must be very embarrassed to be related to this traitor.
they must go out in disguise
What a rediculous statement to make from our resident Dic Sion Dafydd Robert Buckland. So how will being “close” to HS2 benefit Wales prey tell? 🙄
So Crewe is close to the Wales border eh? Well it’s 80 miles between Crewe and Wales. Manchester is 50 miles and Bristol is 40 miles from Wales. So how he can seriously support Crewe as a hub to justify the cost of HS2, Bristol parkway is nearer!! These Tory’s really do stretch the facts in order to justify their policies!
Wrexham to Crewe is 26 miles (takes ages by train though). Chepstow to Bristol is 18. Still I agree with your sentiments on Govt policy
Oh to have a Welsh-born Welsh Secretary who actually has the interest at heart.
Oh to have a Welsh-born Welsh Secretary who actually has the interest of Wales at heart.
(I tried to edit my previous post but couldn’t!)
Just like the people of England are benefiting from the energy grant being paid out in France. What a d******d.
What an absolute tw*t Buckland is!! He’s just the latest in a long line of Welsh Secretaries who are doing their damnedest to deprive Wales of what is rightfully ours.
That is the purpose of the role. Robert is a pompous little t**t and fits in neatly as a flunky with the supremacist AngloBrit London government.
That Man is supposed to fight for our country Wales he has only just been appointment Welsh and has sold us down the river already.we have a traitor to our country again the latest in a long line of traitor’s
How about depriving London and the South East of ‘funding’ for a change? The longer these Tories stay in Power, the more attractive independence becomes to many here in Wales.
Another Dic Sion Dafydd and/or a See You Next Tuesday
Traitors are not welcome in Wales.
AQuisling at best, with Soviet sensibility or perhaps one Tory that steal Welsh money and takes Soviet money. Rest in Hell!
What a dastardly thing to say!
The nearest it comes to Wales is FIFTY MILES HS2 costs £120 BILLION when it first started costs have soared it is a WHITE ELEPHANT and Welsh taxpayers are bloody paying for it
Let’s just hope his geography teacher reads his latest lie
With “friends” like this arse who needs enemies?
Wales might benefit a tiny amount from improved services from Crewe but it’s not to the degree of £4.6 billion.
Are Tories really going to spend this sum on Wales during their cost-of-living crisis? Are Labour really going to reverse the decision?
This is (probably) one of the most horrific spending injustices in Europe of the modern era.
So what they are saying is, that Crew is part of Wales? Or is it? It’s a 50-minute journey by car or train to Crew roughly from say, Wrexham, so is that what makes it so Wales pays for HS2? So working on that theory, does it not mean the M4 which links up to the M25 around London makes them responsible for ALL of the infrastructure within the heart of Wales itself, so they should be paying a minimum of 95% towards the infrastructure investment of Wales because the M25 IS SO CLOSE TO WALES by a 3hour car… Read more »
Trains from Scotland will run on to the same line. Why is Scotland not named as a ‘beneficiary’? Why, oh why indeed…
This little piggy is a WINO; Welsh in name only.
Welsh? Well, Swindon is NEAR the Welsh border I suppose.
Well then Wales needs no longer pay taxes to Westminster because if we keep them, Wales is near the English border
England can pay for the Newport bypass project then, since Newport is near the English border and cargo from Milford Haven to England passes along that route