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Wales’ transport minister blasts UK Secretary for not meeting with him

23 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Lee Waters picture by the Welsh Government. Grant Shapps picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

Wales’ minister in charge of transport has criticised the UK Government’s Transport Secretary for not meeting with him.

Grant Shapps was photographed meeting with the Welsh Conservatives’ shadow transport minister Natasha Asghar in an image she posted on social media.

But Wales’ Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters, who is responsible for road and rail, said that Grant Shapps was not responding to his requests for a discussion.

“Good to see Mr Shapps meet with the Shadow Transport Minister when he won’t meet with the actual Transport Minister,” he said.

“I hope Natasha took the chance to ask why we don’t get the £5 billion share of HS2 spend that even Welsh Tory MPs think we deserve.”

The Welsh Conservatives’ shadow transport minister Natasha Ashgar had earlier posted to say: “Really productive meetings with Simon Hart, Grant Shapps and Virginia Crosbie to discuss transport issues in Wales from trains, planes roads and the Magor with Undy walkway station.”

She later responded to Lee Waters message by asking: “Lee have you tried asking him nicely for a meeting? I’m sure if you will, he will happily oblige.”

Lee Waters responded: “Yes. Did you ask about the HS2 share? This should be a cross-party issue.

“Just as all parties in the Senedd came together make case for electrification I’d like us to do the same over rail infrastructure.”

Lee Waters’ comments come after the Welsh Government have criticised the UK Government’s “neglect” of rail infrastructure in Wales.

Wales will not benefit in the same way as Scotland and Northern Ireland from additional rail funding as a result of the HS2 project as it has been designated an England and Wales project.

If the new HS2 rail route, which is due to open by 2040, were classified as a England-only rail project then Wales would be entitled to an additional £4.6 billion which could be spent on public transport.

The UK Government have defended the move, saying that the designation was justified as Wales would benefit from being better connected to other parts of the UK.

“I do not think Wales loses out as a result of HS2,” Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove told the House of Commons earlier this month. “I think north Wales in particular benefits significantly because of increased connectivity.”


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G Horton-Jones
G Horton-Jones
7 months ago

Let’s face it who cares about a minor colony led by our political opponents

Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

Is Labour STILL living in a unionist never land?

Isle ap Aberystwyth
Isle ap Aberystwyth
7 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Labour is thriving in Wales like never before. Wales is in fact a battleground between Welsh Labour and the Tories. Plaid are a minor distraction.

R W
R W
7 months ago

It’s thanks to Unionists like you that we’ve got ourselves in this mess. If people keep voting for Unionist parties, Westminster will keep treating us like dirt. In all honesty, it’s probably what we deserve if we continue to vote for Labour or the Tories. Mind you, it wasn’t that many years ago that people were saying that the SNP were a minor distraction.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
7 months ago

This isn’t a battle between two political parties, but between devolution and muscular unionism. Plaid Cymru fall under the former category.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
7 months ago

Appalling behaviour by all the Tories that took part. Sums up perfectly their distain for Wales. Totally shameful.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

Or anywhere else, barring tax havens. Havens; soothing word, huh?
I always think of: “fifteen men on a dead mans chest”.

Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago

Ahh bless, perhaps he’s nervous about encountering new or different ideas.
Either that, or just plain rude.

George
George
7 months ago

Is it becoming routine for Tory MP’s to only meet Tory MS’? What’s the thinking behind that and will Tory MS’ represent Wales or themselves in these meetings?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

The arrogant English Tories are treating Wales with utter contempt like Russia Ukraine. They represent a creaking former empire that hark back to the bad old days where rape & pillage was the norm and what’s ours is theirs.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
7 months ago

Unionist Lee Waters shouldn’t be surprised that a Welsh Minister has been ignored.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  Cwm Rhondda

You nailed it. The Shapps guy who’s got little or no grasp of his responsibility anyway would see Waters as the local Opposition Unionist fella’, just a bit of background noise that can be somewhat irritating but will come to his senses if those damn Nats start kicking off.

Gareth
Gareth
7 months ago

One of the perks of being part of the UK, you get ignored, and your leader says it is the things that bind you, that make it worth our while, ( for Cymru that is).

Alwyn Evans
Alwyn Evans
7 months ago

Has anyone ever identified the benefits for North Wales from HS2. Especially bearing in mind that the end game is to bypass Crewe main station with a tunnel beneath Crewe, and to link through a satellite station NORTH of Crewe; this means travellers to North Wales will need to pass Crewe main station and then go back there for their connection

Stephen
Stephen
7 months ago

No new road building, no plans for the M4…not much to talk about

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
7 months ago

I’m glad the transport minister here was ignored – more evidence showing the Union is not working for Wales. We must use this in leaflets before we march this year (Along with the masses and masses of other evidence!).Let’s show we’ve had enough of ignorance and neglect by filling the streets!

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