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Welsh Government slams UK Government over lack of investment in train stations

27 Feb 2020 3 minutes Read
A Transport for Wales train. Picture by Jeremy Segrott (CC BY 2.0)

The Welsh Government has criticised the UK Government for not investing in train stations on the Wales and Borders network.

Despite it being the UK Government’s responsibility to invest in rail infrastructure, the Welsh Government had promised to match any funding invested.

The Welsh Government had asked for investment in seven stations but only four were selected by the UK Government for funding.

The Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister, Ken Skates, said the UK Government were failing to deliver the investment they are responsible for.

“It is disappointing that the UK Government has decided to invest in just four of the seven projects we had promoted and offered to match fund,” he said.

“I have therefore asked Transport for Wales and rail industry partners to urgently consider the scope for using the matched funding commitment we offered to progress step-free access at the excluded stations, under our own direct investment. This is because of the U.K. Government’s failure to deliver the investment they are responsible for.

“Stations with strong community support for step-free upgrades have been excluded from funding. Unfortunately, it is another example where passengers are set feel the effect of the UK Government’s continuing underinvestment in Welsh railways.

“Meanwhile, I am pleased that work will go ahead at the four successful stations.”

The schemes selected were lift additions at Grangetown, Llantwit Major, Pontypool and Neath, all through joint funding from the Department for Transport, Transport for Wales, and third party funding.

Ruabon, Haverfordwest and Whitchurch (Shropshire) were all endorsed by the Welsh Government, but were not selected by the UK Government in the final funding allocations.

 

‘Under-investment’

Earlier this month, Ken Skates said that giving the Welsh Government full control over railways would “address some of the concerns” of Wales’ “growing independence movement”.

Infrastructure planning and funding of Network Rail in Wales remain the responsibility of the UK Government, unlike Scotland where this aspect is devolved.

While the Welsh Ministers have powers to invest in infrastructure, Wales receives no block grant allocation for this.

In a letter to MPs Ken Skates said: “We have a clear template for delivering the remaining elements of devolution, we have unprecedented cross-party support and we have an ambitious and deliverable vision that will reverse the decades of under-investment in our railway.

“We would regard any outcome that resulted in an inferior degree of devolution for Wales to that proposed for other areas of the United Kingdom as a significant missed opportunity.

“An equitable rail devolution settlement across all nations of the UK would address some of the concerns being raised by the growing independence movements in both Scotland and Wales.”

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Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
1 year ago

Well Mr Skates. This is what happens when you belong to a so called Welsh Political Party that are no more than Wasteminster Yes People. What you Reap is What you Sow.

Theresa Green
Theresa Green
1 year ago

Not very long ago we had 2500 or so railway stations in the country until Amerianism told us that they had to be demolished. The
Americans then rebuilt them and told us that would be called train stations. And fickled reporters and some of the public went along with it. Why?

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
1 year ago
Reply to  Theresa Green

No way were there ever 2500 railway stations in this country. Not even England had that many post-Beeching.

Phil
Phil
1 year ago

While the Welsh government might moan about this what will they do….nothing ….until we have a stronger voice similar to Scotland the English (UK government) will continue treating us with the contempt it holds for us . We will continue being held back until the Welsh assembly and Welsh MPs start fighting for our corner unless you have an MP from ynys mon who clearly has her interests elsewhere. Wales…it’s one thing all supporting the rugby but it’s about time we all support each other and put Wales first .never mind what political party you are .we should be fighting… Read more »

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 year ago

Upgrading of all aspects of rail infrastructure in Wales should be a key local component of the UK wide grand strategy that underpins HS2. But , of course, there is no grand strategy. HS2 is primarily a vanity project spread over such a long timeline as to be obsolete by the time it’s completed. More of a deception strategy really.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 year ago

” Equitable, oh ho ho help, hee sorry but………………….

mark
mark
1 year ago

“slamming” the English government is all very well but what exactly will the Welsh government do about the lack of funding?

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 year ago

“We would regard any outcome that resulted in an inferior degree of devolution for Wales to that proposed for other areas of the United Kingdom as a significant missed opportunity” So Ken Skates and Mark Drakeford what are you going to do about it ? What can you do while you still think this UK project is going still going to work for Wales ? Well, most of Wales is seeing that Wales is being denied the benefits of full devolution. Then The Senedd & Government of Wales will have to implement breakaway from this one-sided arrangement. Even with a… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 year ago

Ernie, the situation does seem to be forcing their hand? Exciting times indeed!

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
1 year ago

Love the way Skatesy tried to blackmail them with talk of the independence movement.

The whole thing shows what little executive power Cymru has under the current devolution settlement. Time for an upgrade (and I’m not talking about railway stations).

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