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Network Rail Funding

Volume 735: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2023

8. Whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport on the adequacy of Network Rail funding in Wales. (905723)

I have regular discussions with Department for Transport colleagues on a wide range of transport matters. Wales receives proportionally greater funding than the rest of Great Britain. In fact, figures from the 2021-22 financial year demonstrate that Government funding of the operational railway was 32.1p per kilometre travelled in England, 57.3p in Scotland and 59.3p in Wales.

When I asked the Department for Transport about the maintenance funding spent on the Wales route, it told me that it gets 4% or 5% of the spending and it equates to 4% of the network, so it must be fair. The problem is that the figures were based on train miles rather than track length, and the train miles are always lower in Wales because of a lack of investment in infrastructure. The track length is actually 11%, not 4%. Will the Minister make representations to the DFT to increase rail spending proportionately to make it a fairer settlement?

The hon. Member is right to reference investment in rail in north Wales. Growth Track 360 has pressed for that hard—I have been involved with that, as he has—and the North Wales Transport Commission has recently outlined similar projects. He will be aware of the Union connectivity review development funding pot that has been available, and the entry in RNEP for the north Wales coast main line in relation to line speeds.