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Rail Infrastructure

Volume 551: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2012

10. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on capital investment in rail infrastructure in Wales; and if he will make a statement. (122194)

I have regular discussions with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport about a range of transport issues that affect Wales, including the importance of investing in rail infrastructure in Wales.

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer and warmly congratulate him on his new position. I also congratulate him and his predecessor on the electrification of the south Wales railway network, which the Labour party failed to achieve in 13 years. Will he join me in calling on the Department for Transport to look at the possibilities for new signalling on the north Wales main line?

I met representatives of Network Rail earlier this month to discuss their plans for the rail network in Wales, including the re-signalling programme. The north Wales main line is due to be re-signalled commencing in 2015 as part of the Wales route modernisation programme.

14. How much of the £9.4 billion that is going to be spent on rail infrastructure to 2019 will be spent in north Wales? (122199)

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will be pleased to hear that I am already holding discussions with the Welsh Government and local authorities in north Wales with a view to exploring the possibility of electrifying the north Wales railway line—105 miles, and an enormous economic benefit for north Wales.

I welcome the announcement of extra capital expenditure, but will the Secretary of State work with the Welsh Assembly to make sure that Welsh civil engineering companies help in competing for contracts for this work?

Yes; this is an issue that has been identified recently. I am sure that the Welsh Government are aware of the problem and that they will address it.