Tories accuse Labour of ‘neglecting and ignoring North Wales’ with Metro plans
The Tories have accused Labour ministers of overlooking North Wales with their plans for a Metro project.
Over £1 billion has been earmarked for the South Wales Metro, but the Conservatives say only £50 million of this has been allocated for the North Wales Metro project.
They also say they are concerned that the Welsh Government is becoming “overly-reliant” on the Metro projects as a solution to Wales’ transport problems.
Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, who has responsibility for transport unveiled new maps that reveal the scale of the Metro project.
He argues that the Metro will make it the easier choice for people to use their cars less and public transport and active travel more, to significantly reduce our environmental impact and help Wales reach its Net Zero carbon target by 2050.
But Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar MS, who spoke in the Senedd today following an update on the Metro, said: “The Metro isn’t going to be an all singing, all dancing, rail scheme that will serve as a silver bullet for our infrastructure and climate challenges.
“Labour’s transport plans involve buses and bicycles, so it is vital that ministers still invest in our road network and ensure it is up to scratch.
“Such investment is particularly important for people living in our rural areas – where our public transport system is shambolic – who rely on cars to get to work and hospital appointments.
“It is clear that Labour’s over-reliance on the Metro as an immediate transport solution will be damaging to the Welsh economy and people’s day to day lives, without concurrent investment into road improvements.”
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for North Wales, Darren Millar MS, added: “The people and communities of North Wales deserve our fair share of investment but yet again we are being let down by the Welsh Labour Government.
“It is grossly unfair that North Wales is receiving just £50 million of the £1,000 million being spent on metro projects in Wales. That figure is an insult to the people of North Wales, and it is no wonder that we feel like poor relations to people in the south.
“We deserve so much better than this.”
Lee Waters defended the plan in the Senedd, telling Darren Millar: “It’s the first time I’ve heard him make a case for rail investment in north Wales.
“As I say, he’s normally obsessed with putting money into road-building schemes, despite then going on to plead for the plight of the red squirrel, which – by the way, if we don’t tackle change, biodiversity will be threatened. So, there’s a disconnect in his argument and his thinking too.226
“As I said, the state of the metros in different parts of Wales are different. We have to raise ambition and delivery right across Wales. That’s what our Wales transport strategy is about, which he hasn’t supported.
“That’s what our investment in the metro is about, which he hasn’t supported. And that’s what the announcement today about the delivery board for north Wales is about. I’d be grateful if he’d support that.”
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