The cost of electrifying the Valley Lines could “skyrocket” if work doesn’t start alongside the Great Western Main Line, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have warned.
The UK Government Hendy Review into Network Rail’s programme of improvements, due to be published later this week, should decide whether the Great Western Mainline to Swansea will be electrified as planned.
A point made repeatedly in the Welsh Government’s business case for the Valley Lines electrification is that the work must be carried out alongside the Main Line electrification in order to minimise costs.
Eluned Parrott AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Transport commented:
“It is a very positive sign that work on Great Western Electrification has not been paused to date, and I am hopeful that the Main Line to Swansea will be one of the projects prioritised when the review is finally published.
“However if the electrification of the Main Line is to go ahead and perhaps even be accelerated, this puts pressure on the Welsh Government to get its own act together on the Valley Lines.
“The cost of electrifying the Valley Lines could skyrocket if work on them doesn’t start alongside the Main Line – a point made repeatedly in the Welsh Government’s own business case for the project.
“Similarly, it is incredible that even now, the Welsh Government still hasn’t committed to electrifying any of the lines West of Cardiff – including the Vale of Glamorgan line which is the diversionary route for the Main Line. If that line at least isn’t electrified, any disruption or works beyond Cardiff would bring electric services to Swansea to a grinding halt.
“It is vital to the economy of South Wales that our railways are modernised across all of the Valleys, to spread the economic benefits with all. The Welsh Government cannot sit back and allow the electrification of the Valley Lines to falter in its hands.”