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21.03.12

Swansea electrification campaign continues

Welsh politicians are urging the Government to expand the electrification of the Great West Main Line to Swansea instead of ending it at Cardiff, following public support for the project.

Swansea West AM Julie James and Swansea West MP Geraint Davies met with the Welsh transport minister Carl Sergeant to discuss the plans, and are set to meet with transport secretary Cheryl Gillan to keep up their campaign.

Davies told the South Wales Evening Post: “The all-party Parliamentary Welsh Affairs Committee report on inward investment in Wales supported the case for rail electrification to Swanseaso the secretary of state is well aware a consensus is building among Welsh MPs.

“Passenger growth to Swansea from extra services, population growth, sporting success, tourism and our second university campus onFabian Waygreatly strengthens the case for electrification to Swansea.

“It would only cost a fraction of the £1.9bn that should beWales’s consequential share of the £32bn High Speed Rail 2 the Government has already agreed.

“I will be meeting alongside a cross party group of MPs with theUKtransport minister to continue pressing for electrification.”

Earlier this monthUKtransport minister Norman Baker suggested the potential for further decentralisation inWales, and said: “We are very open to talks with the Welsh Assembly Government about the future shape of railway services inWalesas we are happy to talk to anybody at local level inEnglandabout that matter.”

James said: “The Welsh Government is fully behind electrification of the valleys lines and from Cardiff to Swansea and they have presented the UK Government with a solid business case that shows that valleys line electrification to Bridgend would halve the cost of electrification from Cardiff to Swansea.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. ATW

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