PLAID Cymru leader Adam Price has today (April 30) vowed that a Plaid government would end Westminster’s “Great Welsh Train Robbery” by investing in creating Wales’s first truly national rail network.
Adam Price hit out at the UK Government’s chronic underinvestment in the Welsh rail network, citing the injustice of Welsh taxpayers footing the bill for England-only projects such as HS2.
The Plaid leader outlined how a national rail network would link major populations such as Bangor and Carmarthen along the west coast, as well as ensure main lines in the north and south, and across central Wales.
Using existing, new, and reinstated lines a Plaid Cymru government will also deliver a Valleys CrossRail, connecting Treherbert in the Rhondda to Pontypool, via Pontypridd, Nelson, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, Blackwood, Newbridge, and Crumlin.
Adam Price said:
“There is no comprehensive rail network connecting the different parts of Wales with north-south journeys having to be made through England.
“Whilst control of the main rail franchise has been in the hands of the Welsh government, the tracks and infrastructure remain a matter for Westminster which sees Network Rail making decisions on an England-and-Wales basis.
“As a result, Welsh taxpayers are footing the bill for costly projects such as HS2 which are not only set to be built entirely in England but also harmful to the Welsh economy as research shows.
“For as long as Westminster has some control over rail policy, the Great Welsh Train Robbery will roll on.
“This is why a Plaid Cymru government would seek full devolution, with adequate funding, for all rail services in Wales.
“Once this is achieved, we will task Transport for Wales with creating an all-Wales national rail network, connecting the north with the south and enabling rail traffic between the major centers of population.
“This would entail main lines in the north and south, a central Wales line linking Swansea, Llanelli, and Shrewsbury, the Cambrian line linking Aberystwyth with Shrewsbury, and a new West Coastline, linking Carmarthen with Bangor and on to Amlwch.
“The Valleys CrossRail will provide a huge boost to business development, urban regeneration, and housing as well as transport – directly benefiting a population of more than 250,000 people.
“We would also proceed with plans for metros for the south-east, north-east, Swansea Bay, and the Western Valleys.
“This network will support transit-oriented development along its route so that economic development can flourish in the most sustainable and climate responsible way.
“All of this forms part of our vision for an independent Wales, free from Westminster’s constraints and able to truly connect our communities for the benefit of all our people.”
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