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10.09.20

Welsh Government call for backing of South Wales Main Line major upgrade

Plans for new train services and stations in south-east Wales have been outlined by the Welsh Government, who have called on the UK Government to “play its part” in delivering developments to Wales’ railway.

This comes as part of continuing efforts to tackle congestion and improve transport links across the Welsh region.

In July the South East Wales Transport Commission published a ‘emerging conclusions’ report, which highlighted the need for a combined network of alternative transport options that do not depend on the motorway.

The Welsh Government have backed these findings for more sustainable, long-term alternatives.

Part of this response includes the publication of aims and proposals that outline its ambition for rail services.

This involves a major upgrade of the South Wales Main Line in terms of capacity, line speed, rolling stock and widespread electrification, leading to improvements such as journey times of Cardiff to Bristol Temple Meads in 35 minutes and Cardiff to London in 85 minutes.

The Welsh Government have also illustrated their plans for North Wales, which include more regular services, better journey times and significant infrastructure improvements.

It has re-iterated calls for the UK Government to play its part in the delivery of these goals, in recognition of the current devolution settlement.

Ken Skates, Minister for Transport, Economy and North Wales, said: “I welcome this latest report from the Commission and want to thank them for their ongoing work. Their report highlights the need for all partners to come to the table and play their part in turning its recommendations into reality.

“We are committed to delivering our responsibilities for buses, road improvements and active travel. The UK Government must now complete its long-delayed rail review, fully devolve rail matters to Wales, and deliver a fair funding settlement so we can start to rectify the years of historic underinvestment by Westminster in the rail network in Wales.

“We will press ahead with the actions we are able to take now, but the UK Government must play its part to deliver the major upgrades recommended by the Commission.”

READ MORE: Welsh railways receive multi-million-pound UK government investment

READ MORE: UK Government urged to collaborate on Global Centre of Rail Excellence

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