HS2 should be reclassified as an England only project, says Welsh Affairs Committee


Train (Image: Gwalia)

The Welsh Affairs Committee (WAC) has today called for a new Wales Rail Board to be in place by the Autumn.


The Board would be comprised of UK and Welsh government bodies that can "consider improvements and upgrades to Wales’ ageing rail network".


The WAC said that passengers currently experience "slow services and inadequate stations".


The Committee also said that "urgent upgrades backed up by sufficient investment is desperately needed" in order to enhance Cymru's rail infrastructure.


The Committee has also recommended a "new Wales Rail Board, including the UK and Welsh governments, Network Rail, the rail operators providing services in Wales, and Transport for Wales", which would "identify improvements and the investment required".


The Committee said that Cymru "will not benefit in the same way as Scotland and Northern Ireland from the Barnett consequentials arising from the project" and as a result

the Committee recommends that HS2 "should be reclassified as an England only project".


"Using the Barnett formula, Wales' funding settlement should be recalculated to apply an additional allocation based on the funding for HS2 in England. This would help to ensure that Welsh rail passengers receive the same advantage from investment in HS2 as those in Scotland and Northern Ireland", the Committee said.


The Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, Stephen Crabb MP said: “There is a compelling case for greater investment in rail infrastructure in Wales to improve journey times for passengers, strengthen connectivity with the rest of the United Kingdom and reduce carbon emissions.


“Reaching our net zero targets will require a significant investment in rail electrification. We believe that this should result in a reconsideration of the short-sighted decision to cancel the electrification of the Great Western mainline from Cardiff to Swansea. “While there will always be voices calling for the further devolution of rail powers, it’s clear that what passengers most need is both of their governments, as well as the rail operators, working together. Our Committee has proposed a new Wales Rail Board, which would bring together the two governments, Network Rail and rail operators, which can be tasked with bringing forward a shared pipeline of Welsh rail projects and which should be in place by the Autumn.”

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