Transport: Wales

Department for Transport written question – answered on 12th January 2016.

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Photo of Douglas Carswell Douglas Carswell UKIP, Clacton

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve major transport links between England and Wales.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Government has the most ambitious programme of rail upgrades since Victorian times. It will introduce a new fleet of Intercity Express trains, cut journey times, increase the number of seats, and provide a more reliable service for commuters and people in England and Wales. Electrifying the Great Western Main Line from London to Swansea is a UK Government commitment which we will deliver to Cardiff within Control Period 5 and to Swansea as early as possible in Control Period 6.

In addition the Government is providing £10.4m, in support of the Liverpool City Region Growth Deal, to fund the reinstatement of the Halton Curve which will enable passenger services from North Wales and West Cheshire to directly access Liverpool City Centre and Liverpool John Lennon airport for the first time in decades. The Halton Curve rail link will provide large economic benefits to the Liverpool city region and surrounding areas including North Wales.

We are working closely with the Welsh Government on the development of the next Rail Investment Strategy to ensure that relevant English and Welsh priorities for rail investment in Control Period 6 are reflected.

On the strategic road network, Highways England’s Pinch Point Scheme at the junction of the A55 and A483 trunk roads between Chester and Wrexham was completed in June 2015.This addresses significant traffic congestion problems at this junction near the border with Wales and related road safety problems, especially during peak periods, and will help to stimulate economic growth.

The Government’s first ever Road Investment Strategy has committed £15.2 billion investment for the strategic road network in England from 2015 to 2021. The next iteration of route strategies will inform investment decisions for the next Road Investment Strategy and Highways England will engage with stakeholders to identify future investment priorities.

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