ASLEF backs Tory over Wales rails

05 November 2012

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said the Tory Welsh Secretary David Jones is ‘talking a lot of sense’ when he supports electrification of the main rail line in north Wales. ‘When it comes to developing railways, we have no political prejudices,’ Mick says. ‘North Wales is one of the most transport-deprived parts of the UK and that affects its ability to develop industry and jobs as it should.’

After meetings between the UK and Welsh governments, Clwyd West MP Mr Jones said Whitehall must be ‘receptive to making progress’ on funding a £300 million investment for electrification and a faster train service. He said he wants Network Rail and the Department of Transport ‘to start sooner than later’ on the project.

‘It would be utterly wrong to leave North Wales as the poor relation when there are now firm plans to electrify the main line between Swansea and London,’ Mick says.

Welsh government Transport Minister Carl Sargeant agrees. ‘I want to see north Wales properly connected to the electrified rail network around Liverpool, which has the potential to bring benefits to the economy of the region and rail services,’ he said. ‘By boosting the economy we can also help tackle poverty, which is one of my key priorities.’

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