Glamorgan Gazette Column - September 2017
Chris Elmore's Westminster Eye
As Parliament returns, I wanted to give you an update as to what my Welsh Labour colleagues and I have been doing to ensure the UK Government doesn't get away with its broken promise on rail electrification to Swansea.
You might have heard that the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, snuck out plans to scrap electrification west of Cardiff just before Parliament rose for the summer recess.
In response , I coordinated a letter which was signed by all 22 South Wales Welsh Labour MPs.
The letter calls on the Transport Secretary and the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, to reverse their decision to cancel rail electrification to Swansea, address historical under-funding of the Welsh rail network and honour the 2014 agreement with the Welsh Government to fund a sustainable new Wales and Borders rail franchise.
Time and time again, this UK Tory Government has let communities across South Wales down by failing to invest in our rail network. It cannot be right that Welsh routes have received a meagre 1.5 per cent of total UK Government spending on rail upgrades since 2011, despite having 11 per cent of the total track across England and Wales.
By sneaking this out before the summer, the Government has proven it holds the people of South Wales in contempt and cannot be trusted.
Now the summer recess is over, my Welsh about colleagues and I will be holding their feet to the fire on this issue.