The Welsh Affairs Committee‘s new report, Crossing the border: road and rail links between England and Wales, highlights the need for Wales to be connected to the national high-speed rail network to avoid being left at a disadvantage. The Committee quotes work by Greengauge 21 that suggests that Wales would lose jobs and economic growth if it were not fully connected.
Greengauge 21 Director Jim Steer said:
“With the plans for HS2 now being extended from London and the Midlands to the north of England, and with the Scottish Government also developing its HSR plans, it is crucial for the economic development of Wales to be part of the HSR revolution. Wales must not get left behind.”
Greengauge 21 and the Great Western Partnership explained to the Committee their proposals for progressive upgrades of the GWML over 25 years so that it forms part of a national high speed rail network. Greengauge 21 welcomed the clear endorsement by the Welsh Affairs Committee of the need for UK and Welsh Governments to begin developing the case for a high speed line between England and Wales.
Jim Steer added:
“The strategy developed by Greengauge 21 and the Great Western Partnership is an achievable and affordable way of making sure Wales is brought into the national HSR network – a strategy that brings early gains that are so important to investor confidence in the wider economy, as well as long term benefits. It builds on the existing plans for GWML electrification, new trains and a western rail connection to Heathrow to make sure that Wales too can benefit from the Government’s major investment in HS2.
“The recent incorporation of Crewe into the HS2 Phase 2 plans also provides an opportunity to spread the benefits of HS2 across the North Wales economy.”