Anger over Wales rail electrification decision delay
Published: 25th Nov 2010 19:11:02
The deferral of the decision on electrifying the London to Swansea rail line has caused anger and disappointment.
A £600m electrification of the line from London to Didcot was confirmed.
But a decision on electrification of the line to Wales has been deferred until the new year.
The UK government said it must decide whether to replace the intercity fleet with electric trains, or electric-diesel hybrids.
First Minister Carwyn Jones called the announcement "disappointing" while Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones accused the UK government of "sidelining" Wales.
Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain also accused the UK coalition government of leaving Wales behind, but Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said she remained fully supportive of the electrification project and hoped to work with the Welsh Assembly Government on the business case.
Roger Williams, Welsh Lib Dem MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said journey times are slower than they were 15 years ago.
He said: "Good transport links are crucial to the economy of Wales and this upgrade would be an enormous boost to the Welsh economy."
Jenny Willott, Lib Dem MP for Cardiff Central added: "Electrification of the line has huge support from businesses and commuters alike and is crucial for the future prosperity of South Wales.
Jake Griffiths, leader of the Green Party in Wales said: "Stalling the electrification of this line is a real knock to the Welsh economy, particularly when we hear how projects such as CrossRail are going ahead despite London already having huge rail infrastructure.
"Meanwhile we are left with some of the oldest trains in the UK.
"Electrification of this line is vital not only to improve journey times but also because the electric trains are more energy efficient than diesel trains.
Graham Morgan, Director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, called the announcement a definite "hindrance".
"We need to show Wales is open for business but the UK Government is not looking after the whole country. Wales is going to have to work even harder to compete in an already competitive market.
"As an accredited Chamber of Commerce we are using our links with other chambers around the country - in particular with the London Chamber of Commerce. We have been pushing the international agenda to build stronger links for businesses connecting from Wales to Heathrow airport.
Friends of the Earth Cymru also criticised the delay.
Director Gordon James said electrification of the line would "reduce pollution, shorten journey times and persuade more people to use public transport.
"The failure to fund this now is a missed opportunity that keeps Wales in the second division when a first class public transport system is needed to counter climate change and boost the green economy.
Cardiff council Leader Rodney Berman said he would continue to "press the case" to the government.
"I remain concerned that failure to ultimately implement electrification would seriously harm the economy across south Wales and south west England."
At 08:00:54 in EnglandAbout 400 jobs are to be created across Teesside and North Yorkshire thanks to £30m of investment from Quorn Foods.
At 07:59:42 in Northern IrelandAn independent ambulance service has said lives are at risk after £10,000 worth of equipment was stolen from one of its vehicles in Londonderry.
At 07:57:44 in WorldThe South Korean school devastated by the loss of many of its students in a ferry disaster last week has started to hold classes again.
At 07:51:52 in EnglandPart of the M42 in the West Midlands has been closed after a lorry overturned, spilling diesel on to the motorway.
At 07:46:39 in WalesThe One Show's Alex Jones, Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas and tenor and Radio Wales presenter Wynne Evans are among the baton bearers for the Wales leg of the of the Commonwealth Games build up.
At 07:44:08 in SportFootball Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford hopes the Uefa Super Cup will act as a platform in Cardiff's bid to be one of the host cities for Euro 2020.
At 07:38:26 in WorldThree foreigners have been shot dead by a security guard at a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, officials say.
At 07:33:32 in BusinessSouth Korea's economy grew more than forecast in the first quarter, helped by a jump in construction and exports.
At 07:33:28 in SportTrainer Gary Lockett says talks have begun about a rematch between Enzo Maccarinelli and WBA light-heavyweight champion Jurgen Braehmer.
At 07:29:11 in EnglandPolice are continuing to question a 42-year-old woman suspected of murdering three of her children in south-west London.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Anger over Wales rail electrification decision delay [Online] (Updated 25th Nov 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/111105/Anger-over-Wales-rail-electrification-decision-delay [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
The last avalanche forecast of the latest Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) season has been published.
An independent ambulance service has said lives are at risk after £10,000 worth of equipment was stolen from one of its vehicles in Londonderry.
The One Show's Alex Jones, Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas and tenor and Radio Wales presenter Wynne Evans are among the baton bearers for the Wales leg of the of the Commonwealth Games build up.
Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford hopes the Uefa Super Cup will act as a platform in Cardiff's bid to be one of the host cities for Euro 2020.
Shares in Qualcomm, one of the world's biggest chipmakers, fell 5% in after hours trading as it issued a weaker than expected growth outlook.
Cult comic character Frank Sidebottom has inspired a film starring Michael Fassbender, while a documentary and biography are also in the works. Four years after his creator Chris Sievey died, why is Frank's legend growing and who was the man behind the mask?