1. ITV Report

South Wales Metro could be delayed by Brexit, warns Welsh Government

An artist's impression of how the South Wales Metro could look Credit: TfW

The handover of the valleys railway lines that will form the core of the South Wales Metro could be delayed by Brexit, according to the Welsh Government.

Transport for Wales is due to take control of the tracks on all the routes that run to and from Cardiff Central via Queen Street.

An artist's impression of one of the new trains due to run on the South Wales Metro Credit: Keolis Amey
The core valley lines are shown in yellow, with the rest of the metro's rail routes shown in blue. Credit: Transport for Wales

Known as the Core Valleys Lines, they are due to be electrified by Keolis Amey, the consortium that also operates all Transport for Wales trains.

Network Rail is due to hand over the lines in September, provided that transfer is signed off by the UK Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, in June.

The Welsh Government's Economy and Transport Minister, Ken Skates, is now warning that Brexit is putting that timetable at risk.

He claims that the Department for Transport is prioritising preparations for a no deal Brexit and might not be ready for the handover of the Core Valleys Lines.

I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport seeking his urgent guarantee that, this close to the end of the process, the Core Valleys Lines asset transfer will continue to be a priority for the UK Government.

Furthermore, I have offered to discuss directly with him any practical steps that we could take to expedite the asset transfer, without compromising the due diligence, so as to allow our Governments to focus on the other issues facing the UK over the coming months.

– Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates AM

Mr Skates says the handover of the lines, which carry more than half of all Transport for Wales train services, is critically important as any delay puts at risk the delivery of the South Wales Metro in line with Keolis Amey's contract.