Skip to main content

Cardiff to Manchester Rail Line

Volume 568: debated on Wednesday 9 October 2013

7. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport about capital investment in the Cardiff to Manchester railway line. (900304)

I regularly meet my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss rail infrastructure priorities for Wales, and I am meeting him again soon. I will raise the important link that my hon. Friend mentions as part of that discussion.

The new enterprise zone at Rotherwas in Herefordshire offers a superb opportunity to reopen the rail link to Hereford and establish a parkway station, which would assist local people and the many Welsh people who work in my county. Will the Secretary of State support those plans?

The Herefordshire enterprise zone is extremely important, and my hon. Friend will know that the important thing with rail infrastructure improvement is to build up a coherent business case. I will certainly raise this matter with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport when I meet him, and my hon. Friend’s question will form an important part of that business case.

May I take this opportunity to support the suggestion from the hon. Member for Hereford and South Herefordshire (Jesse Norman) and to ask the Secretary of State to ensure that he reiterates the importance of the electrification of the railway line to south Wales from London and of the valley lines? Will he take the opportunity to do that now?

Yes, indeed. The announcement that we made last year is still very much on track, and we are hoping that the link to Swansea will be completed by 2018. [Interruption.]

Order. There are far too many persistent and very noisy conversations taking place in the Chamber. I know that colleagues will want to listen to Susan Elan Jones.