Rail Infrastructure

Wales – in the House of Commons at on 31 January 2024.

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Photo of Karin Smyth Karin Smyth Shadow Minister (Health)

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the adequacy of rail infrastructure in Wales.

Photo of Fay Jones Fay Jones The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I have regular discussions with colleagues across Government on rail infrastructure. The UK Government are committed to building a strong rail infrastructure network across Wales, which will improve connectivity and drive economic growth. We have provided over £390 million for Welsh rail in recent years, and we recently announced a further £1 billion to fund the electrification of the north Wales main line.

Photo of Karin Smyth Karin Smyth Shadow Minister (Health)

The Welsh Affairs Committee highlights the need for greater connectivity between Swansea, Cardiff and Bristol, which would be of huge benefit, particularly for sports and music fans coming to Ashton Gate in my constituency. Why has the Wales Rail Board failed to initiate recommendations and other further improvements?

Photo of Fay Jones Fay Jones The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The hon. Lady’s constituents will be greatly affected by the project that she mentions and by the performance of Great Western Railway, which is not sufficient. The Office of Rail and Road has launched an investigation into poor train punctuality and reliability in Network Rail’s Wales and western region, and we await the recommendations of that review. I add that industrial action has affected things.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

Will my hon. Friend join me in congratulating Network Rail and its subcontractors on completing the repair works on the longest wooden rail bridge in Europe across the Mawddach estuary in Gwynedd?

Photo of Fay Jones Fay Jones The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I certainly will join my hon. Friend, and I am delighted that he takes such keen interest in Welsh rail infrastructure and raises it here on such a regular basis. He is right to flag that project, which is an example of this Government’s record investment in rail infrastructure in Wales. I was pleased to visit the project and give it my full support.