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.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has defended the government's decision to scrap rail electrification plans to Swansea.
UK Government is expected to make an announcement on rail electrification.