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Rail Infrastructure Funding

Volume 698: debated on Wednesday 30 June 2021

We have committed £2 billion to Network Rail for the current control period, and close to £60 million has been committed to upgrade Cardiff Central station and £76 million to electrify the Severn tunnel route. More locally, the Cambrian and Wrexham-Bidston lines and stations at Bow Street and St Clears are also set to receive additional funding.

In a previous answer, the Secretary of State said that the UK Government’s priority was investment. That clearly is not the case with Welsh railways: we have more than 11% of the track but have not had even 2% of funding over the past decade. It has been a lost decade for Welsh railway infrastructure. The Secretary of State needs to set out quickly with Department for Transport officials how he is going to address the lack of investment and ensure that Welsh railway gets the investment it deserves.

The hon. Gentleman is a great campaigner on this issue, but I can only repeat what I said in answer to the substantive question, which was a list of investment. It is all about levelling up and infrastructure—

It is all very well the hon. Gentleman shaking his head in disbelief, but the reality is that there has been more investment in all the infrastructure projects than at any stage in recent history. That is largely thanks to the energy of this Government and our commitment to levelling up in Wales.

The Cefn bridge at Trewern is a bottleneck between mid-Wales and the west midlands economy. Will the Secretary of State meet me and stakeholders to ensure that the Union connectivity review, which I very much welcome, tackles this bottleneck?

Absolutely. My hon. Friend is the epitome of energetic campaigning on road improvement and other infrastructure schemes. Who will forget the Pant to Llanymynech bypass as one of the great achievements of the MP for Montgomeryshire? I am happy to confirm that, so excited am I by that prospect, I will be there on Monday next week.