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Heart of Wales Railway

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 29 April 2009

7. What recent discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on developing and improving the Heart of Wales railway line. (270724)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on a range of issues, including railways. I should like to pay tribute to the work that my hon. Friend the Member for Gower (Mr. Caton) has done in campaigning to raise the profile of this extremely important railway line.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but does he agree that this beautiful railway route through Wales and England is not delivering to its full potential at the moment, especially in green tourism? In future, will the UK Government co-operate with the Welsh Assembly Government in developing a strategy to improve the line?

Co-operation on this issue is vital. I give a commitment that we in the Wales Office will ensure that there is maximum co-operation between the Welsh Assembly Government and the UK Government. However, I point out that the Welsh Assembly’s Rail Forward programme has set aside some £50 million for investment, which implements the political agreement that has been struck.