Welsh transport minister questions ‘new’ funding for Welsh railways

Welsh Transport Minister, Ken Skates has written to Secretary of State, Grant Shapps, over concerns about the recent announcement of an additional £343m for the funding of railways in Wales.

In the letter, Ken Skates breaks down the different elements of funding listed in the recent package. He explains how, despite their talk of ‘levelling up’, this offer falls short of fair funding from the UK Government, and why the underinvestment of rail in Wales, together with the fragmented way in which infrastructure is planned, will not achieve the UK Government’s own ambitions.

“It appears very little of this funding package is actually ‘new’. Many projects in the announcement have already previously been announced, the £58m for Cardiff Central station, for example. In fact, some of this package, such as the funding for valleys electrification, dates back to 2014,” the letter said.

“A disparate collection of ad hoc projects across Wales does not constitute an ‘ambitious programme’. Our plan for Metro systems across Wales give us the ability to move towards genuinely integrated public transport systems, but sadly the announcements in this package were made without reference to, or join up with, this overarching vision,” he added.

Some of this announcement does not qualify as investment at all. £76m of the package accounts for cost-overruns on the south Wales mainline electrification programme. “This is money that didn’t lead to anything extra for Wales, but merely reflects the poor management of that particular project.”

Mr Skates said in the context of the many billions of pounds of investment going into the rest of the UK network, this package does nothing to address the significant and ongoing underinvestment in Welsh rail infrastructure.


Related Stories


All the latest highways news direct to your inbox every week day

Subscribe now

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.