18 July 2012
The announcement of the electrification of the London to Swansea and connecting valley rail lines has been welcomed by the WLGA as a huge step towards improving economic growth and competitiveness in Wales.
The five year programme of rail infrastructure improvement will commence in 2014, and will see £2billion invested in the Paddington to Swansea line as well as local lines including Ebbw Vale, Rhymney Valley, Maesteg, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Valley and Vale of Glamorgan.
Councillor Harry Andrews, WLGA Spokesperson for Regeneration and Economic Development said:
“We whole-heartedly welcome the announcement of the electrification of south Wales’ rail infrastructure. The inclusion of the Valley lines within these improvement works means that south Wales will finally have a modern, integrated transport system that can help deliver economic growth to the region as a whole.
“The economic and regeneration benefits to the area are substantial. These rail improvements will offer greater mobility for our local workforce, improve the attractiveness of south Wales for investors and developers, and offer increased financial certainty to the private sector.
“By offering rapid access between key locations in the region the improvements are central to our City Region aspirations, as increasing connectedness within the south Wales area can only be a good thing for local trade, residents and tourism alike. Added to this is the potential increase in local job opportunities linked to the improvement works themselves.
“This truly is an historic announcement. Investing in our transport infrastructure is vital for Wales’ economic future and the improvements to our rail network will send a clear and positive message that this is a place with a future, a place to invest in.”
Councillor Anthony Christopher, WLGA Spokesperson for Road, Infrastructure and Transport added:
“This announcement represents a significant and important investment into Wales’ transport infrastructure, ensuring that it is updated, made fit for purpose and capable of meeting the demands of the 21st century. It represents a transformational level of investment that will have benefits throughout the region and Wales as a whole.”
The announcement for south Wales involves electrification of the following lines:
Cardiff Central to Cardiff Queen Street
Cardiff Queen Street to Aberdare
Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Queen Street to Coryton
Newport to Ebbw Vale
Cardiff Central to Maesteg via Pontyclun, Bridgend
Abercynon to Merthyr Tydfil
Grangetown to Penarth
Cardiff Central to Danescourt via Radyr (City Line)
Cardiff Queen Street to Rhymney
Pontypridd to Treherbert
Cardiff Central to Bridgend via Barry - Bridgend (Vale of Glamorgan)
Barry to Barry Island
Bridgend to Swansea
For more information contact: Stuart Hodges