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Plaid Cymru tables amendment to widen 20mph debate to also focus on HS2

17 Apr 2024 3 minute read
20mph / HS2

Emily Price

Plaid Cymru has proposed that a motion to axe Wales’ 20mph speed limit should be altered to instead call on the Welsh Government to reconsider its decision not to pursue a HS2 legal challenge.

On Wednesday afternoon (April 17), Senedd members will debate a Tory motion to reverse the controversial 20mph speed limit rolled out in Wales in September.

It also calls for a review of the strict criteria for new road building in Wales with a view to implement all previously scrapped schemes.

The Tory motion goes on to ask that the Welsh Government invest in public transport to make buses and trains more competitive with travelling by car.

Plaid Cymru have table an amendment calling for the details of the Tory motion to be deleted and replaced with calls for the Welsh Government to, “reconsider its decision not to launch a legal challenge against the UK Government’s decision to designate HS2 an England and Wales project.’

Devolve

The amendment, tabled by Heledd Fychan, goes on to ask that the Welsh Government work with the UK Government to “devolve all powers over transport to Wales” and begin a “continuous review” of the impact of the new speed limit.

The HS2 route heading north of London has long been criticised for being designated an England and Wales project despite none of the line running into Wales.

It’s been argued that by changing at Crewe, the journey time from north Wales to London would be reduced.

As a result, the Welsh Government would receive no consequential funding under the Barnett formula – estimated at around £5b.

Last October Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that HS2 was being scaled back with only the first phase as far as Birmingham likely to be built.

Challenge

In a recent written answer to Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth, Counsel General, Mick Antoniw confirmed the Welsh Government had decided not to pursue a legal challenge for the funding.

The Welsh Government says the UK Government should conduct a wider review of comparability with the Department for Transport, “to look at and address the impact of the classification of future rail projects”.

Mr ap Iorwerth said: “We know that the UK Conservative Government want to put a stranglehold on Wales’ finances and have been intent on keeping Wales in the slow lane by not re-designating HS2 an England only project.

“But we would have expected better from Labour, a party that purports to be ‘standing up for Wales’.

“Despite Labour Ministers claiming that that they are on the same side as Plaid Cymru on the unfairness of the lack of HS2 consequentials, it now seems that they are no more than weasel words when we see their ambivalence towards pursuing the matter.

“This is a worrying signal of things to come should Keir Starmer become the next Prime Minister and giving Wales the silent treatment on HS2 speaks volumes about Labour’s attitude to fair funding.

“The absence of resolve shown by the Counsel General is tantamount to waving the white flag.

“If the Vaughan Gething premiership is going to be something other than the same old, the First Minister must reconsider his government’s decision to let the UK Government off the hook.”


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Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago

Ac fe ddylid ei ehangu ymhellach i gael system rheiffordd call i Gymru. Pam nad oes gennym reilffordd call de-gogledd? (oherwydd nad oes ar Llafur eisio uno ein gwlad yn ddaearyddol ond parhau i’w thrin fel rhanbarthau o Loegr?) Pam fod y cyfleuster i adeiladu trenau newydd i Gymru ym mharthau Lerpwl? Pam fod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi gwario miloedd ar filoedd ar drên cyflym rhwng Caerdydd a Manceinion, nad yw hyd yn oed yn teithio ar dir Cymru wedi gadael y Feni. Ac yn bennavf oll, pam fod y Blaid mor llywaeth a llwfr a di-ruddin. Eisio tyfu pâr o… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Rhufawn Jones
Rob
Rob
1 month ago

According to the list of reservations on the Government of Wales Act 2006, planning and infrastructure is largely devolved, but “relevant nationally significant infrastructure projects” are listed as reserved (see section 184) According to Section 14 of the Planning Act 2008 however a national significant infrastructure project is only applicable to England!! Take the proposed Severnside Airport as an example. If it had ever gone ahead and been built on the English side of the bridge it would have no doubt been classed as a .’national significant infrastructure project’ probably resulting in the closure of both Cardiff and Bristol Airports,… Read more »

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago

After reading the article, which I fully support, the title would be more accurate if it said something like Plaid Cymru tables amendment to change 20 mph debate to focus instead on HS2 and fair funding for Cymru.

A.Redman
A.Redman
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

Exactly.The debate was supposed to be about the 20mph fiasco?

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Labour here are all mouth no action, our very own Dic Sion Dafydd’s hiding in plain sight. Complain about how unfair Westminster rule is, then when it comes time for action, hide under their massive union Jack, and are nowhere to be seen, even when it is blatantly obvious the the injustice done to our people and economy. HS2 England and Wales my a**e, our Labour MP ‘s in Westminster backed that one.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago

I think it’s time for Plaid Cymru to change its name – Plaid Pointless.
On one hand it calls for more funding from Westminster (keep the begging bowl high) and then wants to spend what little money there is on expensive lawyers fees in a pointless challenge simply to change the name of an engineering project.

Malcolm Jones
Malcolm Jones
1 month ago

Our Welsh labour MPS are a complete waste of time I’m still waiting to see a Welsh labour MP speaking up about Wales in prime Minister question time we should sack the lot of them

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