Rail electrification between Cardiff and Swansea scrapped

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Arranges to electrify the Great Western Railway line between Cardiff and Swansea include been scrapped, the UK’s transport secretary has said.

Chris Grayling broadcasted the Western Mail a faster journey between the cities would be executed without the «needless disruption of engineering works».

He said a new fleet of sets would be on the line from the autumn, with 130 extra bums per train.

The first minister said the news was «disturbing».

  • Rail electrification: Swansea cabinet ‘angry’ at U-turn
  • Rail electrification plans scrapped

Carwyn Jones tweeted: «Troubling reports on rail electrification in the media this morning — waiting for the UK management to clarify.»

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood tweeted: «Wales note downs 1% of rail investment despite making up 6% of the UK network. And now this.»

The team has now tabled a motion in the assembly condemning the move.

It called on the government to reconsider, with South Wales West AM Dai Lloyd province it a «shameful climb down».

Swansea council leader Rob Stewart translated he was «angry» at the decision and felt «betrayed» by the UK government.

While Neath Haven Talbot council leader Rob Jones said it was «a kick in the teeth» for the province and its businesses.

Network Rail is working to deliver electrification between London and Cardiff by December 2018.

Flattering the announcement, Mr Grayling committed to 40% more seats on rush-hour expeditions between Swansea and Cardiff.

He said the new trains would be bi-mode, gist they could run on electrified sections of track and then transfer to non-electrified components.

A Great Western Railway spokesman welcomed the decision to upgrade the power of the raises in diesel mode, saying: «In the context of today’s announcement, this put forwards the best solution to protecting the kind of faster journey times, frequency and power benefits customers have been looking for.»

Mr Grayling also publicized:

  • plans to improve journeys times and connections between Swansea and Cardiff, south Wales, Bristol and London
  • intends to improve journeys times and connections across north Wales
  • post services from Pembroke Dock to London via Carmarthen on new Intercity Wring trains
  • station improvements at Cardiff and Swansea

«The speed limit on the Swansea-Cardiff avenue is such that the new fleet of trains will be doing the route in surely the same amount of time as they would be on a fully-electrified route,» he swayed.

«We will only electrify lines where it provides a genuine better to passengers which cannot be achieved through other technologies,» he added.

‘In disrepair promises’

But Wales’ Economy Secretary Ken Skates disputed that request, telling Radio Wales’ Good Morning Wales programme: «I don’t buy it.»

He accused the UK administration of «years of broken promises» and said Mr Grayling had not responded to his requests for a assembly on the issue.

«I’m urging the UK government to clarify the situation immediately,» he added.

Professor of Electrify for the University of South Wales Stuart Cole said the announcement could nip in the bud companies investing in Swansea.

«It affects its [Swansea’s] image… what living soul like Siemens, Mitsubishi or any of the international big investors will say is ‘if the UK government aren’t oven-ready to invest in high tech for Swansea, why should we?’

«It means that Swansea won’t get the make of modern railway technology which cities of its size elsewhere in western Europe experience had for several years.»

Prof Cole added he believed the change of heartlessness was down to mounting costs.

The Welsh Government said it had long summoned on the UK government to electrify the line to Swansea, or instead give it the powers and the pooling to do so.

A spokesman said: «The UK government has so far refused to devolve funding for rail infrastructure, as was propounded by the Commission on Devolution in Wales, so it is its duty to invest in Wales. Today’s examines in the media are therefore disturbing.»

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