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Regional Equity of Infrastructure Investment

Volume 690: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2021

What assessment he has made of the regional equity of infrastructure investment (a) in Wales and (b) throughout the UK. (913156)

Once in every Parliament, the National Infrastructure Commission publishes a national infrastructure assessment. The first assessment was launched in July 2018, and the commission operates UK-wide.

Wales has 5% of the population but it has had only 2% of the railway enhancement investment over decades, and it has the lowest household income. Given that HS2 will not pass through Wales, will the Minister and the Treasury look very carefully at providing a high-speed rail link between Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea and beyond—over 3 million people live there—in line with the Burns review, to help the agenda for levelling up and connecting the Union, and to give us our fair share of rail investment based on need?

I thank the hon. Member for his question. Of course, he will be aware that the benefits of HS2 are not, by any means, just restricted to the cities that are on its route; it is a national project of significance. More widely, Wales has done very well in the last Budget, if I might remind him more generally, with accelerated funding for the Swansea bay, north Wales and mid-Wales city growth deals, money for the hydrogen hub and, of course, £30 million towards the global centre of rail excellence in Neath Port Talbot. What I would say, though, is that of course we do now have a UK infrastructure bank, which will be looking at issues of infrastructure across the country, including in the devolved Administrations.