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Rhondda Tunnel

Volume 702: debated on Thursday 4 November 2021

I hope it will be very soon because, frankly, the harness is ready. The mines rescue service is ready to dangle the Secretary of State down a hole, and I will be right behind him.

On a serious point, the Rhondda railway tunnel is a disused tunnel that is 3,443 yards long. It belongs, oddly, to Highways England, so it is the Secretary of State’s responsibility. If we are able to reopen it as a cycle path, as many people hope, it would be the longest cycle path in Europe. It would be a major local attraction, which would be good for tourism and jobs in an area of outstanding beauty that unfortunately has terrible financial deprivation. The Secretary of State is welcome.

I did a bit of research following our last exchange at the Dispatch Box, and it transpires that National Highways owns the tunnel at the moment. I would be happy to transfer it to a local group, the Welsh Government or the local council, with money for the purpose. The hon. Gentleman is welcome to take that up, and I look forward to taking up his offer of a harness at some time in the future when I can see it fully open.