Sunak accused of carrying out ‘Great Welsh Train Robbery’
Rishi Sunak has been accused of carrying out the “Great Welsh Train Robbery” amid claims the UK Government is depriving Wales of £6 billion.
Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts criticised HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail being designated England-Wales projects, despite neither running in Wales.
Ms Saville Roberts said such a ruling means Wales misses out on extra funding provided to devolved administrations as a result of spending decisions which benefit England.
High-speed line HS2 is due to run between London and the Midlands and north of England, while Northern Powerhouse Rail seeks to improve east-west links in the north of England.
Ms Saville Roberts told Prime Minister’s Questions: “Incredibly, any traveller wanting to go by train from north to south Wales has to go via England.
“Linking Wales north to south would cost £2 billion.
“Now, the PM talks about running away with other people’s money, but his Government is depriving Wales to the tune of £6 billion by ruling that north-south England rail links, like HS2, somehow benefit Wales.
“Will he plead guilty to the Great Welsh Train Robbery?”
Prime Minister Mr Sunak replied: “(Ms Saville Roberts) knows how transport matters are handled in Wales.
“What I would say to her is we do always want to work cooperatively with the Welsh Government where we can deliver jointly for people in Wales.
“We’re actually investing record sums in communities up and down Wales through the Levelling-Up Fund and Community Ownership Fund.
“We’re happy to continue those conversations, many of those are transportation projects, and I think, hopefully, she’ll join me in saying what the people of Wales do not need is the Labour Welsh Government plan to ban all building of new roads.”
The Welsh Government has decided to overhaul its approach to road building in a bid to put environmental concerns first.
It followed a year-long review by the Welsh Roads Review Panel during which 55 road projects were paused and reassessed.
In response to the panel’s findings, plans for a third Menai bridge will no longer go ahead and neither will the Red Route in Flintshire.
Other projects have been scaled back or postponed, with only 15 of the projects reviewed by the panel to go ahead in their original form.
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