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Rail Electrification (Wales)

Volume 556: debated on Thursday 17 January 2013

7. What recent assessment he has made of the potential benefits of electrification of railway lines into Wales. (137498)

The Welsh valley lines to Cardiff and the Great Western main line from London to Cardiff, Bridgend and Swansea will be electrified. Electrification will deliver trains that are cleaner, quieter, faster, and cheaper to operate, with more capacity for passengers. It will help to create jobs and boost growth across south Wales.

The Government were right not to scrap the last Labour Government’s plans for electrification. What work is the Minister doing now, in conjunction with the Welsh Government, to ensure that the Welsh economy gains the maximum economic benefit from this investment?

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his rewriting of history and on his seeking to take the credit for what this Government have done in deciding to increase electrification. I can tell him that we are in close contact with the Welsh Government, because we are determined to help stimulate the regeneration of the Welsh valleys and the connectivity between London, Cardiff, Bridgend and Swansea. That is why we are investing this money to improve the communications. We will ensure that the deadlines laid down for this to come into operation will be met.