Rail electrification plans hit by new row in Wales

Rail electrification plans hit by new row in Wales

2 July 2014

RMT Press Office

RAIL UNION RMT today called for urgent action to stop yet another key rail modernisation project from being stalled after it emerged that the planned upgrade to electrify the Valleys rail network in Wales has been put at risk because of a row between the Welsh government and London over who will fund it – despite the fact that Prime Minister David Cameron is on the record confirming that the costs will be covered centrally.

The upgrade and modernisation is part of a programme of essential rail improvements that are supposed to see the upgrade of the main line from London Paddington to Cardiff which is due to be completed by 2017, and extended to Swansea by 2018 at a cost of £850 million with the electrification of the Valleys lines - the commuter lines in and out of Cardiff - due to be completed between 2019 and 2024. It is those works that are now threatened by the funding row.
Mick Cash, RMT acting general secretary said.
“It is deeply damaging that essential rail modernisation plans are being jeopardised by a row between Cardiff and London over financing when as far as staff and passengers are concerned these issues should have been put to bed right from the outset.”
“RMT is sick of the political point scoring that is going on here, we are also well aware of the interview with David Cameron himself in which he confirmed that the works would be funded centrally. This scenario has echoes of the electrification scheme in the North, due to be completed in 2018, where senior officials were unable to give assurances this week to the Transport Select Committee that those works would be funded.
“The trail on all of this goes right to the heart of the Westminster Government who seem to be prepared to renege on commitments to rail improvements and modernisation at the drop of a hat. RMT will work with local communities to end the posturing and point-scoring and to deliver the modern, high-quality rail services that our passengers deserve.”

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Tagged with: rail electrification, wales