Speaking following his appearance at the National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee he emphasised how the electrification of the Valley lines and the Great Western Mainline onwards from Cardiff are vital first steps in developing a fully sustainable travel network in Wales.
The Minister said:
“ Full electrification of both the Valleys and Great Western Line down to Swansea is essential if we are to give Wales a rail network that is a genuine alternative for commuters, leisure travellers and businesses.”
“ Full electrification means that we can plan a more cost effective franchise and invest in better rolling stock. It will also provide an important enhancement of the links to Cardiff Airport.
“ We have worked closely with the Department for Transport to build robust business cases for electrifying the Valley Lines and the Great Western Main Line between Swansea and Cardiff. These Outline Business Cases show a strong case for electrifying the railways in South Wales.”
“ To ensure that the railways deliver for Wales – and that Cardiff is not perceived as the end of the line - we need to increase our influence over the rail network and services in Wales.
“ On the basis of benefit to cost ratios, we are confident that the case for electrifying all of the Valley Lines and Great Western Main Line to Swansea compares favourably with other railway investment decisions made by the UK Government recently.
“ I will continue to push the UK Government for full electrification in Wales which is vital for our economic competitiveness.”
Rail infrastructure funding is currently a non-devolved matter with responsibility lying with the Department for Transport.