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UK Government accused of using Wales-England transport links as ‘a political weapon of unionism’

26 Nov 2021 2 minute read
A map from the Union Connectivity Review

A Welsh MP has accused the UK Government of using transport as a “political weapon of unionism” as they revealed a plan to focus on cross-border transport links between Wales and England.

The Union Connectivity Review published today will be a means of “binding” the UK together according to UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

But Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts said the report by Sir Peter Hendy aimed to make Wales an “extension of the West of England”.

“Two UK transport strategies in two weeks – the Integrated Rail Plan and the Union Connectivity Review – have delivered nothing to Wales except more Westminster bluster and rhetoric,” she said. “Transport should never be a political weapon of unionism.

“While I welcome Sir Peter Hendy’s thoroughness, the plain facts are that Westminster underfunds our railways and considers our transport needs as an extension of the West of England.

“Greater dependency on England has left us where we are. Instead, we need to properly resource Transport for Wales to deliver on Wales’ transport priorities, secure our HS2 Barnett consequential, and further our green transition by supporting public transport services.”

‘Strengthen the ties’

The Union Connectivity Review proposes major overhauls of the transport connections across the north and south of Wales and England. Branded ‘UKNET’, the finished network would see “a strategic transport network for the whole of the United Kingdom”.

Specifically, in Wales the plan will aim to bring about fast journey times across the border on the A55 and M4, faster journey times from England across the South Wales and North Wales main lines and rail links from the English Midlands to Cardiff.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that Transport was key to “binding the family of nations that is the United Kingdom closer together”.

“It is not good enough that certain areas of the UK thrive while others fall behind. We must realise our full national potential and that means mobilising the resources and skills of all parts of this country,” he said.

“I am indebted to Sir Peter for his work. We will consider his recommendations carefully, engage closely with the devolved administrations, and work collegiately to ensure these proposals strengthen the ties that bind us, now and for the future.”


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William Glyn THOMAS
William Glyn THOMAS
10 months ago

Too late chum not only have you missed the bus, the train has also left the station.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
10 months ago

More like binding Wales to England, all the better for the second home owners to get to Wales for their weekend breaks.

Rob
Rob
10 months ago

How about better links between North and South Wales

R W
R W
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Quite so. There is absolutely no mention of the dreadful road and rail links between North and South Wales in the report. Says all you need to know about this awful Tory backed report.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 months ago

When did we vote for the English government to dictate our transport links?

Grayham Jones
10 months ago

We in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Grayham Jones
10 months ago

Close all borders with England

Quornby
Quornby
10 months ago

What about our West Coast routes you morons!?

Wynford Jones
Wynford Jones
9 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Yes, what about OUR west coast route, you carrot? All that exists now is the bit between Pwllheli and Aberystwyth. Westminster Government closed Bangor – Afonwen and Aberystwyth – Carmarthen in the 60s. Next you’ll be telling us that we don’t qualify for Barnett consequentials because HS2 will follow our west coast route. A cursory glance at a map of Walesandengland will confirm that HS2’s path lies a significant distance to the East of our border.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
10 months ago

Aww, They’re getting desperate. Our best course of action – ignore them and let’s concentrate on gaining independence.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
10 months ago

They really don’t like that Plaid-Labour deal do they?

Ken covack
Ken covack
9 months ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

They don’t like the people of Wales and the political parties of Wales working together you mean for the benefit of ALL the people of Wales and not Worstminster and the tory mantra of giving a penny, taking a pound and more in return.

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