Stephen Kinnock has written to Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, to highlight the local anger and frustration felt over the decision to abandon plans to electrify the Great Western Main Line between Cardiff and Swansea.
Local residents have been expressing their disappointment to the local MP about the Government’s decision to renege on the promise, with some saying it left them feeling like ‘second class’ citizens, and that it ‘demonstrates the contempt that is felt for our local area where it is acceptable for us to put up with a second tier service.’
Commenting, Mr Kinnock said, ‘It is important that the Secretary of State knows how much anger and frustration his decision has caused. We were promised, and I received a guarantee from the then Secretary of State, that electrification would reach Swansea. But what we have seen since the election is a Tory government abandoning its promises to Wales.’
In his letter, Mr Kinnock said, ‘You have justified this decision in terms of new technology, disruption and cost. Bi-modal trains are not a new technology and the continued use of diesel operated trains west of Cardiff will have an effect on the air quality, noise, carbon emission and the greater long term operation and maintenance costs.
‘Since electrification had been announced my constituents have experienced disruption on the line and were content to put up with this for the benefit of electrification in the long term.
‘For years Wales has been denied proper investment in our railways, your decision has effectively continued this tradition of failing to invest in our railways. It also smacks of hypocrisy when you are able to find billions for HS2 but are not willing to spend far less on the electrification between Cardiff and Swansea
‘Further insult has been added to injury when you then went on to announce plans for Crossrail 2 with costs estimated as being up to £30bn. On one day you are saying that we don’t have the money to invest in the line west of Cardiff and then you find billions for another line benefitting London.
‘The repercussions of this decision will be felt much further afield with knock-on effects felt in the local economy, negatively influencing potential investment and jeopardising future social and economic investment.’
Mr Kinnock has also signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Wales, calling on them to stop letting Wales down with and to reverse the decision to renege on electrification to Swansea.