Wales should get money from HS2, Welsh Conservative leader says
Wales should get its share of money from HS2 to invest in Wales’ rail infrastructure, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives has said.
The UK Government has classed HS2 as an ‘England and Wales’ project meaning that Wales will not benefit in the same way as Scotland and Northern Ireland from additional rail funding as a result of the project.
A Cardiff University report found that if rail was devolved, Wales would have received an extra £514m investment in its rail infrastructure between 2011-12 and 2019-20 as a result of UK Government investment in HS2.
Speaking at the start of the Welsh Conservative conference, however, Andrew RT Davies said that additional funding should now come to Wales.
“We’re making the case that Wales should receive its fair share of HS two spending,” he said in his speech.
“We believe that instead of banning roadbuilding like labour, we need to push on and build a modern and sustainable transport network of road and rail.
“That’s the way that we can bring our country closer together. and we can put up the sign that says Wales is open for business. Only that way we can attract the jobs we need to close Labour’s wage gap.”
But he said that it should go straight to Network Rail rather than the Welsh Government which would “squander and fritter it”.
“We’ve seen the comments this week about the Metro system going over budget and so I just think they’re incapable of delivering major infrastructure projects,” he told the Western Mail.
“And I think that that debate that discussion within the party will be robust but I hope that we come out the right side.”
In February, Wales’ First Minister slammed the UK Government’s “neglect” of rail infrastructure in Wales as “pathetic”. Labour have said that Wales faces missing out on £4.6 billion of funding overall.
However Levelling Up minister Michael Gove said Wales will “benefit significantly” due to HS2, Michel Gov.
“I do not think Wales loses out as a result of HS2,” he told the House of Commons. “I think north Wales in particular benefits significantly because of increased connectivity.”
Last year the cross-party Welsh Affairs committee called for the rail scheme to be reclassified as an ‘England only’ project.
“We recommend that HS2 should be reclassified as an England only project,” it said. “Using the Barnett Formula, Wales’ funding settlement should be recalculated to apply an additional allocation based on the funding for HS2 in England.
“We suggest that such a reclassification would help to ensure that Welsh rail passengers receive the same advantage from investment in HS2 as those in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
HS2 is a high-speed railway that aims to improve links between London, the English midlands and the north of England with routes to Birmingham and Leeds.
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I really don’t know weather to laugh or cry when this man makes a statement. He is talking of HS2, and how funding should not be given to our gov, and go to network rail, and says our gov can not deliver within budget. The cost of HS2 was initially £55.7 billion, latest estimates, it will go over £100 billion, and his lot are in charge. Why cant he just speak up for us, without trying to belittle Cymru, and stop making a fool of himself while he is at it. Our gov is trying to do something, while everybody,… Read more »
Spot on Gareth, name me a single infrastructure project in England that has come in on time and on budget. Cross Rail, HS2?
Of course Wales should and we shouldn’t have to listen to Gove’s use of hyperbole (defending the UK government’s position of not wanting to spend money and even more so not wanting to spend money on improving devolved nations) to defend what is blatantly a wrong decision.
Nothing will happen though and next week RT Davies will be telling us this current version of the Union is perfect and can only be improved if we do more of what UK Conservatives want.
Until now Wales antagonist Andrew RT Davies has followed his English master’s line by attacking, belittling and demeaning Wales any opportunity. This even with the might of the English Tory Government and right-wing press & media behind him. Make St’ David’s Day a Bank Holiday, he says. Give Wales consequential from HS2, even though he was quite happy at the time when it was announced how both Scotland & NI would be receiving hundreds of millions and Wales absolutely nothing because the project was cynically titled , an England and Wales Infrastructure build. So what if Andrew RT Davies is… Read more »
Good god, is this man actually growing a backbone?
He may have eaten one but doesn’t have one of his own.
Does this moron even understand that HS2 is a project, not a source of funding? We should be compensated for the millions per year lost to HS2 which prioritises the Northern English Tory Brextieer heartlands at our cost. But the money would not come from the HS2 priject. It would come form the government. Which is run by ………….?
Com on Re-Tweet! I’ll wait for you to process it!
You need to criticise your London masters to pull off this recent pretence to care about Cymru
The only way to ensure Wales gets its fair share of rail investment is to devolve responsibility for the Welsh rail network. Which the Welsh Conservatives OPPOSE.
We will always lose out for so long as there is a unitary Englandanwales rail investment budget.
We are fortunste to have ARTD as the Con chief in Wales. He puts a clear forward a message on all occasions. His robust and loud views spark response and provide the clear blue water needed for us to see….and insentivise us to vote.
Long may he keep his role as opposition leader and spokesperson for the unionist cause.
As a nation cymru contributor….i think
I may speak for manu here in thanking you for your contribution to the life of west anglia….
Boosting rail links from East to West is not in our national interests. North Walians cannot travel to their own capital city without going through England.
Direct links between north and south should be our main priority. Hence why our infrastructure should be determined by our Senedd and not by English politicians in Westminster.
Why do Tories always blame other organisations for something? The state of the Welsh rail network – according to Davies – is down to the Senedd squandering and frittering the money away, it isn’t. It’s down to a lack of investment from Westminster, full stop. What’s going to happen now is that the Tories will pump their meagre investment into Tory held areas, in the hope of further votes. So the bulk of Cymru, as usual, will get bugger all.
The last thing we need is a lecture from this gob-almighty. BTW looking at the photo what happened to the Mussolini look?