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Tory MS ‘fed up’ of hearing Westminster being blamed for transport issues

22 Sep 2021 3 minutes Read
Picture by Mattbuck (CC BY-SA 3.0).

A Tory MS has said she is “fed up” with Westminster being blamed for Wales’ transport issues.

But Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar has criticised the Welsh Government for calling for power over rail infrastructure to be devolved.

She made the comments as she welcomed the news that the UK Government is going to create a Wales Rail Board.

The new board, which has been created following advice from MPs, will bring together the Department of Transport, the Welsh Government, Transport for Wales, Network Rail, and other train operators with the aim of delivering improvements for passengers.

The Welsh Government has said it is still pushing for the “full devolution” of the rail network from Westminster in response to the move.

But it added that “irrespective of where responsibility rests in the short term” it that it supports the “need for close strategic collaboration”.

In response to the news, Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has criticised the UK Government for “leaving us with crowded and unreliable trains that dawdle along old and crumbling tracks” and has called for a 10-year investment plan to address the situation.

She added that “Welsh rail will continue to be an afterthought” as long as the power over it is held by Westminster, and called for it to be fully devolved.

‘Blame Westminster’ 

Natasha Asghar said: “Frankly, I am fed up with hearing ministers in Cardiff Bay blame Westminster for issues relating to transport.

“It is only by the two governments working together will we be able to build back better after the pandemic and ensure that Wales gets the investment we need, as well as better transport links and services.

“Commuters and tourists using our public transport network are regularly faced with overcrowded trains which often fail to turn up on time, so it is vital that action is taken promptly if we are to encourage more people out of private cars.

“Instead of calling for more powers to be devolved to Wales, the Welsh Government needs to work with the UK Government to level up the whole of Wales.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Our long term objective continues to be the full devolution of the rail network and a fair funding settlement for rail infrastructure in Wales.

“However, irrespective of where responsibility rests in the short term, we support the need for close strategic collaboration to ensure infrastructure is delivered to meet passenger needs and our ambitions to encourage a shift towards public transport to support our decarbonisation commitments.”

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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
29 days ago

Tories trying to pass the buck for their failures again.

Alun
Alun
29 days ago

Headline should read “Fed up WITH”, not ‘OF’
(Sorry – this sort of thing drives me mad. The article is fine.)

j humphrys
j humphrys
29 days ago

SHE is fed up? Nowhere near as fed up as OUR people!
Indy ASAP!

Grayham Jones
29 days ago

It’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s

Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago

Does she not know who holds the purse strings, and countless reports of how underfunded, by her party in Westminster, our rail network has been, and now add to that we are paying for HS2, and losing the Barnett formula money Scotland and Northern Ireland are getting.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

That Tory hypocrite Natasha Asghar should realise that major rail infrastructure and its funding is not devolved to Wales. If it was we would have received our HS2 Barnett consequential money like Scotland & NI did. Oh, but her party denied Wales as much as £5 billion over the next decade by putting it as an England & Wales project, meaning we get nothing. Maybe she should have done her homework rather than opening her vacuous mouth on a subject she knows nothing about. A thing also to know. That Tory fool David Davies, MP for Monmouth and Wales Office… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

A correction to my post. Brexit referenda was 2016 not 2014 as stated. As we all know 2014 was the date for the Scottish independence vote. And they are connected in a way. Both results were won on lies untruths & deceit.

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
29 days ago

Re. the Tory UK Governments branding of HS2 as a Eng and Wales project – when clearly it isnt – has anyone looked at the potential for Judicial Review into that clearly, indefensible decision?

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
29 days ago

Sounds like she’s putting herself out there for a nice safe (English) Tory seat at the next general election!

Last edited 29 days ago by Huw Davies
Quornby
Quornby
29 days ago

Is this the Ms Asghar who wanted to be employed by her dad in the Senedd and watched his conversion to Toryism when party (Plaid) rules wouldn’t allow it?

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
28 days ago

Nice to see them (rightly) get the blame for once.

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