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FSB says losing the electrification scheme "risks a psychological blow to economic confidence"

Credit: PA

The Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) says the decision to scrap the rail electrification between Cardiff and Swansea "risks a psychological blow to economic and business confidence."

The promise to electrify the railway line as far as Swansea – made repeatedly by the past two Secretaries of State and the wider UK Government – was not just about cutting journey times, but was also about providing a 21st century infrastructure for business and showing ambition and growth for South and West Wales.

There has for some time been a unanimity of both business and political voices outlining the opportunity of electrification to Swansea and so it is disappointing that despite this consensus, the UK Government has chosen not to deliver against this proposal.

Losing the electrification scheme risks a psychological blow to economic and business confidence which comes at a time that we can ill afford it.

We would call on the UK Government therefore to commit now to other vital projects which can bolster economic confidence particularly the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, the decision for which is now long-overdue but which we have always seen as a vital part of economic regeneration in the area.

We are reassured by proposals and commitments to upgrade and improve rail infrastructure west of Swansea which will serve to help open up the rest of the City Region and we look forward to hearing early detail on how these proposals will be developed.

– Janet Jones, FSB Wales Policy Chair

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Cardiff Airport 'marks milestone passenger figures'

Credit: Cardiff Airport

Cardiff Airport says the number of passengers passing through in June was up by a fifth on last year. The total was 185,787.

It says June was also the busiest month in terms of passenger volume since Cardiff Airport came under ownership of the Welsh Government in 2013, taking the rolling year’s passenger figures past 1.4 million.

The first half of 2017 has seen a step change for Wales’ national airport. We’ve welcomed new airlines and our existing airline partners are reacting to increased market demand by adding new routes and extra capacity.

With Qatar Airways launching in 2018, we’ll be working with the airline to ensure this exciting service opens up new opportunities for customers in Wales and the South West as the region’s first direct link to a major Middle East airport hub, offering connections across Africa, Asia, Australia and more.

– Spencer Birns, Commercial Director

Yesterday the Welsh Government announced flights to and from Anglesey would continue and could be expanded.

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