Friday, 21 July 2017

Wales compared to Albania . Unfair to Albania.

The Westminster Government may well  be in chaos but they can still try and bury bad news,  when they  announced yesterday morning they were scrapping the electrification of railway lines in Wales, the Midlands and the North of England.
Chris Grayling told the Wasting Mule a faster journey between the cities would be achieved without the "needless disruption of engineering works".
He said a new fleet of trains would be on the line from the autumn, with 130 extra seats per train.
The first minister said the news was "disturbing".
Which is quite an understatement.
Carwyn Jones tweeted: "Disturbing reports on rail electrification in the media this morning - waiting for the UK government to clarify."
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood tweeted: "Wales gets 1% of rail investment despite making up 6% of the UK network. And now this."
The party has now tabled a motion in the assembly condemning the move.
It called on the government to reconsider, with South Wales West AM Dai Lloyd calling it a "shameful climb down".
Swansea council leader Rob Stewart said he was "angry" at the decision and felt "betrayed" by the UK government.
While Neath Port Talbot council leader Rob Jones said it was "a kick in the teeth" for the region and its businesses.
Making the announcement, Mr Grayling committed to 40% more seats on rush-hour journeys between Swansea and Cardiff.
He said the new trains would be bi-mode, meaning they could run on electrified sections of track and then transfer to non-electrified sections.
Professor of Transport for the University of South Wales Stuart Cole said the announcement could prevent companies investing in Swansea.
"It affects its [Swansea's] image… what people like Siemens, Mitsubishi or any of the international big investors will say is 'if the UK government aren't prepared to invest in high tech for Swansea, why should we?'
"It means that Swansea won't get the kind of modern railway technology which cities of its size elsewhere in western Europe have had for several years."
Perhaps the most telling response was this Tweet from Leanne Wood

Wales gets 1% of rail investment despite making up 6% of thenetwork.
And now this.
  23 hours ago23 hours agoMoreLeanneWood Retweeted LeanneWood
Wales is in a club of just three countries in Europe with not one inch of electrified rail to date. The other two are Albania & Moldova.

Albania has long been refereed to has the poorest part of Europe, and even if it is not strictly accurate to be compared to that nation in any context is embarrassing .

Is there any connection with the announcement that Tolls on the Severn bridges between Wales and England will be scrapped by the end of next year,

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said the decision would be a major boost to the local economy.

He did mot seem to make any statement on what effect cancellation pf the Cardiff-Swansea electrification will have,

A study commissioned by the Welsh Government suggested the removal of tolls would boost the Welsh economy by £100m.

However another report, for UK ministers, predicted just halving the tolls would mean a 17% increase in traffic along the M4 and surrounding areas either side of the crossings.

But it did not indicate the impact on traffic by scrapping the tolls completely.

The scrapping  of Tolls is welcome but it is somewhat typical that in a era where people are being encouraged to use Rail over Road' Wales seems to be going in the opposite direction,

How much longer can we continue as poor West Britons with one of the worst economies in Europe.

How much longer can we continue voting for Unionist Parties who wont even  have parity with Scotland and therefore have only 1% UK investment in our Rail Network/

Reopen the CarmarthenAberysyth line? No chance.

We will soon not even have EU funding coming directly to Wales  and  will have to go cap in hand o Westminster  the basis of this weeks announcement  we can't expect  much, 

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