Welsh railways underfunded while HS2 amount soars
The Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee – David T.C. Davies MP – wrote last week to the Chair of the Independent HS2 Review – Douglas Oakervee CBE. In the letter, the Chair noted that the UK Government claimed it could not find £400 million to fund the electrification of the railway line between Swansea and London, and yet HS2 is now expected to cost £30bn more than initially expected. By comparison, Wales has some of the most under-funded and run-down rail networks in the UK.
Yesterday, the Chair and other members of the Committee, Susan Elan Jones and Ben Lake, met informally with Mr Oakervee to discuss funding for Welsh transport, and how the Independent HS2 Review could help to make the case for diverting more money to Welsh transport infrastructure.
Reflecting on the meeting, David TC. Davies said:
“Welsh public transport faces chronic underfunding, but the UK Government continues to plough money into HS2 at an alarming rate.
The astronomical sum of £78 billion can hardly be justified for one rail project, when urgent modernisation is required throughout the network – particularly the route between Swansea and London which still takes three hours. I have urged the Chair of the HS2 Independent review to consider this.”