I have regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of transport measures, including High Speed 2. HS2 will enable quicker and more train services to north Wales via the Crewe northern connection, and will improve connections from north Wales to the HS2 network, potentially bringing passengers within two hours 15 minutes of London.
The Secretary of State must recognise, though, that north Wales in particular can obtain the benefit of HS2 only with proper connectivity, which means electrification of the north Wales line. Will he guarantee that that will take place? If not, will he accept that that is a betrayal of the interests of the people of north Wales?
I do not necessarily think that it would require electrification of the north Wales line. With respect, there are proposals at the moment to make improvements to the north Wales line that are based more around changes to signalling, which will allow more trains to run on the track. I do not pretend to be a rail engineer, but the proposals I have seen do not include electrification. They would decrease journey times across the north Wales line and, feeding into Crewe, would therefore decrease journey times between north Wales and London and bring benefits to all passengers.