Valleys Lines: Electrification

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Labour, Rhondda 12:00 am, 8th March 2017

When he expects the electrification of the valleys lines to (a) start and (b) be completed.

Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The Government have confirmed their commitment to contribute £125 million to the Cardiff city deal, which will provide an investment fund for the region and support for the electrification of the valleys lines. The project has the potential to broaden employment opportunities for those living in some of Wales’s most deprived communities and to act as a significant incentive for business investment. The scope, planning and delivery of electrification are matters for the Welsh Government.

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Labour, Rhondda

That is a pitiful answer. It does not answer the question at all. The former Secretary of State for Transport, Sir Patrick McLoughlin, who is talking to the present Secretary of State for Transport, told the House in October 2012 that the project would be finished by May 2015, but it has not even started. When will the Minister ensure that my constituents get the proper service that they require, with clean trains, disabled access, proper toilets and services that do not break down?

Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I think that the whole House enjoys the hon. Gentleman’s rhetoric, but it would appear that he—[Interruption.]

Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

It would appear that the hon. Gentleman does not understand the way devolution works. The city deal has been agreed with the Welsh Government, and the scope, planning and delivery of electrification are matters for the Welsh Government. I advise him to speak to his colleagues in the Welsh Labour Government.

Photo of Byron Davies Byron Davies Conservative, Gower

With the arrival of electrification in south Wales and the Government’s investment in the new bimodal trains, which have been greatly welcomed in my constituency, we need the correct infrastructure to ensure that people in south-west Wales can benefit. This could be realised by the creation of a Parkway station at Swansea. Will the Minister meet me to discuss this, please?

Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I congratulate my hon. Friend on the work he is doing to ensure that south-west Wales also benefits from the electrification of the Great Western main line. I would be delighted to meet him to discuss the proposals for a Swansea Parkway station, which would be a huge boost for that city as it moves towards a city deal.