Thursday, 19 November 2015

Should Wales get an equivalent share of HS2 Billions ?

The Wasting Mule  reports that 

Plaid Cymru has accused the Conservatives and Labour of a “gross betrayal” for failing to ensure that Wales receives a share of the billions spent on the controversial high-speed HS2 network amid reports that the project could now cost as much as £80bn.
With next week’s spending review looming, the party claims that HS2 could “suck the life out of infrastructure investment in Wales”.

It is reported that HS2 is now likely to cost between £70bn and £80bn – up from £50bn in 2011 prices.
Plaid argues that HS2 is an “England-only” project and therefore the Welsh Government should receive £4bn in Treasury funding.

Jonathan Edwards, the party’s Treasury spokesman, said:

 “George Osborne is expected to announce cuts that will make the ones in the last parliament seem like child’s play, whilst at the same time attempting to mask the ever-rising costs of HS2.
"Both Labour, who proposed HS2 in the first place, and this Tory Government are complicit in an act of gross betrayal of the people of Wales, as they have failed to ensure that our country receives a fair proportion of infrastructure investment as a result of what is in reality an England-only project, despite their classifying it a UK-wide project in an attempt to avoid ensuring the devolved countries receive a fair share of investment.
“As things stand, taxpayers in Wales are paying into the public purse only to see that money ploughed into projects elsewhere.”
HS2  is another example of Westminster thinking  that "What is good for London is always going to be god for the rest of the UK"

Except of course it hardly ever is  and HS is a prime example

UK high speed rail map.png

Other cities and towns such as Carlisle, Crewe, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Preston and York will be linked to the network via HS2 trains running over existing slower, classic tracks so they "may" benefit from this project though rather than support growth in the North of England it may just suck investment  further into to the South East

But clearly this is not going to benefit Wales what ever the claim  and we can be forgiven  for asking if knocking of  30 Minutes from a Journey is real worth

London to/from: Standard journey time before HS2: Fastest journey time before HS2:     Standard journey time after HS2 Phase 1: Standard journey time after HS2 Phase 2:
Birmingham 1:24 1:12 0:49 no change
Manchester 2:08 1:58 1:40 1:08
Leeds 2:20 1:59 no change 1:28

And this applies  to  Wales as well . Rather than getting to London from Swansea half a hour early would it not be better o spend the money planned on electrifying that route on improving the infrastructure within Wales  such as  reopening the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line? Plaid support both but I feel the latter and others should be the priority

Meanwhile it would not be the Wasting Mule  if they didn't find " A Welsh  
Labour spokesman" to "turn (as the Mule claims) his guns on Plaid", saying: 

"While Plaid have busied themselves with protesting on the side-lines, Welsh Labour have spent the past five years investing and delivering on infrastructure.”
 All I can say is "look around you" and make your own judgement of Labour deleviring on judgement   on the last 5 years  and if Labour win again in May then in 5 years time it is likely Labour will have spent virtual its whole Infrastructure budget on the Newport Bypass.

1 comment:

  1. "While Plaid have busied themselves with protesting on the side-lines, Welsh Labour have spent the past five years investing and delivering on infrastructure.”

    Glyn, to be fair to Labour they have repaired the pot hole in the road outside my house!