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Welsh Government politicians in ministerial cars oblivious to how bad Wales’ transport is says MS

23 Jun 2022 3 minutes Read
A Class 175 Transport for Wales train, and Janet Finch Saunders.

Welsh Government politicians have become oblivious to how bad Wales’ transport network is because they travel in ministerial cars, a Conservative Senedd member has said.

Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS called for a “massive overhaul” of transport in Wales.

Speaking in the Senedd, she said that Labour’s approach to transport over 22 years of devolution had been “sluggish and delayed”.

“When the First Minister and his Cabinet have access to ministerial cars, it’s all too easy to forget how the majority of others get around,” she said.

“The Welsh Government are out of touch, and while the cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard working families in Wales, the Welsh Government insults us by failing to deliver on the most basic of services.”

She pointed to data showing that the number of people commuting within Wales had increased from 1.1 million people in 2001 to 1.3 million in 2019, a rise of 16.8%.

“The sluggish approach and delayed roll out of vitally important transport networks here in Wales are because of inaction for 22 years by Welsh Labour,” she said.

“Between January and October 2021, there were 28 services which were more than an hour late and at least 314 train services which were late by 15 to 30 minutes during the same time.

“As a result of the insufficient services, TfW has paid out £2.23 million in compensation to passengers since 2018: money which could have been used to roll out more improved services.

“They truly take the people of Wales for granted and see their time in Government as endless. Residents can be sure that I will continue to give the Welsh Government grief in the Welsh Parliament until we have a rail service befitting our proud nation.”

‘Devolution’

Climate Change Minister Julie James however responded to say that she was amused that the Welsh Conservatives were complaining about transport given current pan-UK transport difficulties.

“In a week when the railways have been brought to a standstill, airports brought to a standstill and petrol prices are on the increase again, I wasn’t sure whether the Conservatives had meant to table this against their own UK Government,” she said.

“The Welsh Government, by contrast, has an immensely ambitious vision for the transport network in Wales, and the changes that need to happen to be fit for the climate emergency—a climate emergency that the Tories are quick to acknowledge in theory, but never, ever support in practice.

“It is a vision made increasingly difficult by decades of under-investment from the UK Government and a consistent rejection of our requests for devolution. It’s really interesting that a Tory Member of this Senedd thinks that funding for Wales is not part of his job. That just explains such a lot about the situation that we’re in.”

She added: “On rail, we have neither the appropriate devolution of rail infrastructure nor a fair funding settlement. If Wales had its share of the HS2 project, we would have £5 billion—billion—into our block grant, enabling us to improve investment into the railway system.

“We need the UK Government to fulfil their responsibilities to improve the rail network in Wales.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 days ago

Are you suggesting that there are Moscow style ‘Zil Lanes’ around Cardiff and the South East?

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

No but you are told to get out of the effin’ way by a cop on a motorbike escorting the esteemed Minister to his/her destination. Same net effect.

Gareth
Gareth
7 days ago

The answer is simple , she should demand, as a MS in Cymru, our share of the HS2 money that her party has robbed from us. Remember it was her party that gave Arriva trains a contract which said it was not allowed to expand services or train numbers, built in to the contract, we are paying the price of a Tory underinvestment and the taking of our share of HS2 money. It is her party’s fault.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
7 days ago

Oh her! When has she ever used public transport?

Kurt C
Kurt C
7 days ago

Perhaps get the HS2 money and stopping calling for return to the office. You need to slow the rise of commuting as much as better services.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 days ago

According to most commenters on this site Tories are not allowed to raise issues as they belong to “that Party”. Now those commenters should take note that there is a growing volume of dissent within that Party, just as there is within Labour. Right now there aren’t enough of them and their dissent is rather diverse. Getting some of these critics “on side” would be a bit of a coup no matter how odious they have been in the recent past. So we should welcome criticism of the present status quo wherever or whatever its source and, who knows, maybe… Read more »

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
7 days ago

So glad that Janet has had her moment of clarity and now realises the appalling mess her party at Westminster is making of Network Rail.
Or is she so daft she doesn’t realise that bit is not devolved? That’s why it is starved of funds, Janet. Your party runs it.

Richard
Richard
7 days ago

It goes agsinst the grain – and i
will seek
Counseling but !

She has a point 😳

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