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End air-link mistake before cost to taxpayers soars further - Kirsty Williams

January 28, 2010 10:25 AM

Following the news that that the Welsh Assembly Government is to invite new tenders for the contract for provision of the North-South Air-link, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for the service to be scrapped before costs rise further.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"The market has given the Welsh Government a clear message - even with huge public subsidy, no suitable private providers want to provide the north-south air service. It is now time to end this costly debacle before even more public money is poured into a service that is both economically and environmentally unsustainable.

"I am extremely worried by the weak negotiating position the Welsh Government has put itself in. There is a real chance the Government will have increase subsidy of the service in order to attract new bids.

"Welsh Liberal Democrats have repeatedly argued for the budget of nearly £1m to be spent on green public transport, so as to benefit hundreds of thousands of rail users."

Kirsty Williams also called for an objective decision to be taken on a matter that directly relates to Ynys Mon, the constituency represented by Deputy First Minster, Ieuan Wyn Jones.

"The Deputy first Minister represents Ynys Mon, one end of this costly route. It is therefore questionable whether the Minister is best placed to make a value-judgment on behalf of all Welsh taxpayers.

"I'm calling on the New First Minister, Carwyn Jones, to recognize our concerns and step in to take a decision from an objective position, hopefully to scrap the service."