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Welsh MPs: High-speed rail discussions 'disappointing'

The Welsh Select Committee say it is 'disappointing' that Wales has so far been excluded from plans for high-speed rail.

But the committee's chair David Davies said that the UK Government's decision to extend electrification to Swansea and the Valley lines into Cardiff should be welcomed.

In a report published today, the committee said that current plans for the HS2 link could cause damage to the Welsh economy by attracting businesses and people to move across the border.

The MPs want the UK and Welsh Governments to develop plans for a high-speed rail link between Wales and England.

Welsh Secretary: 'Important step forward' in making case for North Wales rail electrification

Today's meeting in Llandudno to discuss making a business case for electrifying the North Wales mainline was a success, says the Welsh Secretary.

I'm delighted with the outcome of today's meeting. We have now started the process which, I hope, will result in a strong and robust business case for the electrification of the railway line from Holyhead to Crewe. This will not be a short process . Nevertheless this is an important first step and a clear demonstration of the commitment of the business sector and all levels of government in Wales to the electrification of the main railway line in North Wales. I look forward to seeing the business case develop.

– David Jones MP, Secretary of State for Wales


Welsh Secretary: electrification would bring considerable benefits to North Wales

The Welsh Secretary will visit Llandudno today to discuss the possibilities for the electrification of the North Wales Railway Line.

This Government remains committed to progressive electrification of the rail network and I have made clear that North Wales is top of my list of priorities for the next investment period.

There is no doubt in my mind that the benefits electrification would bring to North Wales are considerable.

I have already met and had positive discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin and Welsh Government Ministers, National Rail and Local Authority leaders and businesses, and I hope that today's meeting will be the start of a process that will lead to a successful outcome.

We will not achieve results overnight - the next rail investment period is still some years away - but we must start now to ensure the business case meets the same rigorous standards of the South Wales case, and to ensure that North Wales is able to put forward the economic advantages that such an investment would undoubtedly bring.

This is an ambition I share with local authority leaders and Welsh Government ministers, and this is an area in which I hope we can work together to deliver for Wales.

– David Jones, Welsh Secretary of State

Welsh Secretary discusses North Wales electrification

The electrification of the Valleys railway lines will be completed by 2019 Credit: ITV News Wales

The Welsh Secretary, David Jones, will visit Llandudno today to discuss the possible electrification of the North Wales Railway Line.

Earlier this year the UK Government confirmed plans to electrify the line from Cardiff to Swansea, and lines in Ebbw Vale, Maesteg, Merthyr Tydfil and the Vale of Glamorgan, as part of a UK-wide £9bn investment in the rail network.

Today, the Welsh Secretary is expected to reaffirm his commitment to the electrification of the North Wales line.

Electrification of Valley lines to be completed by 2019

The electrification of the Valleys railway lines will be completed by 2019 according to the UK Transport Minister, Simon Burns MP.

The project's cost is an estimated 350 million pounds with work due to start in 2015.

During Transport Questions in the Commons the Minister said it would be "a significant boost" to South Wales, which "will create tremendous opportunities for business travel and passenger travel".

The scheme is part of a modernisation which includes the 1 billion pounds electrification of the line between Swansea and London.