Valleys Railway

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 3rd December 2014.

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Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent 11:30 am, 3rd December 2014

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on when the electrification of the valleys railway line will be completed.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb The Secretary of State for Wales

When I became Secretary of State, I made resolving the dispute over funding for the electrification project my No. 1 priority. I have had many discussions with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport in recent weeks, and I am delighted that we have settled a deal between the Department for Transport and the Welsh Government to deliver that important project.

Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

Has the Secretary of State considered improving the frequency of trains after electrification? Two or three trains an hour on the valleys line to Cardiff would be a massive boost to my constituents in Ebbw Vale, Llanhillith and the surrounding valley towns.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb The Secretary of State for Wales

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. There are frequency issues on those lines, but he must recognise that decisions on the frequency of services will need to be taken by Welsh Ministers, because we are devolving the franchise to the Welsh Government as part of the electrification deal.

Photo of Ian Lucas Ian Lucas Shadow Minister (Defence)

Part of the valleys line package is a contribution by the UK Government to the capital costs involved. In principle, are the UK Government prepared to support capital investment in railways in north Wales?

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb The Secretary of State for Wales

I spent two days in north Wales meeting business leaders and local authorities to talk about how we can drive up the quality of infrastructure in north Wales, and I can tell the hon. Gentleman that we have a long-term plan that will deliver the improvements for infrastructure in south Wales and north Wales too. [Interruption.]