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Less talk, more action needed over South Wales Metro

2013 Hydref 22 5:37 PM

Responding to the statement from Edwina Hart on the South Wales Metro, Eluned Parrott AM said:

"This statement will come as a disappointment to anyone who was expecting some sort of progress to be made by the Welsh Labour Government. Yet again the response to a report is to set up a working group, rather than provide a strategic response as a Government to the recommendations made.

"The Welsh Government's National Transport Plan, first published in 2009, is littered with pledges and promises, including new rail stations in Ebbw Vale and Brackla and a service from Newport to Ebbw Vale, but none of these have been confirmed today.

"I've called for a railway station in the East of Cardiff on a number of occasions, a project the First Minister has previously expressed his support for, and something which is urgently needed by residents. Again, this is no closer to a reality than it has ever been.

"We also need to decide how we will cope with an increasing demand for public transport, and how that balances with the need to move freight through South Wales' rail lines, but the subject of freight transport is not mentioned in the Report or the Statement today.

"With the electrification of the Valleys Lines and Great Western Main Line by the UK Government approaching rapidly, we need decisions to be taken quickly so that any new line openings can be accommodated within that programme of work.

"Discussions on the future of the Wales Rail Franchise are also already ongoing; now is a time for decisive action, not just more talk."