I beg to move,
That this House
has considered reopening the railway between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.
Diolch yn fawr iawn, Mr Paisley. It is a pleasure and an honour to serve under your chairmanship.
The Carmarthen to Aberystwyth rail line fell victim to the infamous Beeching axe in 1965. Together with the closure of the Afon Wen to Bangor line, this closure has meant that for more than 50 years, people in Wales have had to cross the border into England to travel between the north and south of their country by rail.
That is precisely what happens when a country allows another country to determine its transport policy. To this day, decisions over rail infrastructure remain the preserve of Westminster, with Wales left to deal with the far-reaching financial and economic consequences. What appears reasonable on Whitehall spreadsheets and maps has far-reaching and always overlooked consequences in Welsh communities. The people of my country face the indignity of a dilapidated transport system, with no line linking the north and the south, while having to pay, via their taxes, for England to get an incalculably expensive vanity project that links the north and south of that country. At the same time, the British Government refuse to provide full Barnett consequentials for Wales.