Wales is missing out on £1 billion of funding according to Plaid Cymru following the confirmation that the second phase of HS2 is to be scrapped.
Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, confirmed earlier today at the Conservative Party conference, that the Birmingham to Manchester phase of the high speed railway is to be shelved.
With the scrapping of the second part of the HS2 project, which had been labelled as an ‘England and Wales’ scheme, despite not coming close to Wales, Mr Sunak said money would be invested elsewhere into transport, including the electrification of the north Wales mainline, which is thought to cost £1 billion.
When HS2 was originally announced, the UK government argued that it would boost reliability, connectivity and capacity to services in Wales.
A station at Crewe was earmarked as an interchange for north Wales, and because of this, Wales was initially denied any consequential funding.
Responding to the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s speech to the Conservative Party conference, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader, Liz Saville Roberts, who is MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said: “High-speed rail for London, crumbs from the table for Wales.
“Electrifying the North Wales Main line is said to receive around £1 billion. Plaid Cymru will not accept that this pledge replaces the more than £2 billion Wales should have already received in Barnett consequentials for the first phase of HS2.
“It's only thanks to Plaid Cymru's decade-long demand for Wales to receive our fair share from HS2 that Rishi Sunak now feels pressured to give empty promises of the most modest of benefits to Wales.
“We cannot believe a word the Conservatives have to say on electrification. For years, the Tories promised electrifying the south Wales line between Cardiff and Swansea, before it was scrapped.
“HS2 isn’t just an England-only scheme, it’s a London-only scheme.
“Wales should therefore receive full compensation for funding spent on the first phase so far, just as we did for Crossrail. The billions in funding that we’re owed would revolutionise our deteriorating transport infrastructure, restore our bus services, and significantly improve north-south connectivity in our nation.
“The only way to resolve this saga is to fully devolve rail infrastructure to Wales, transferring the billions owed through the Barnett formula. That would allow the people of Wales to choose how to invest in our nation.”
Welsh Conservative leader, Andrew RT Davies, said Wales will receive more funding as a result of the HS2 scrapping.
Welcoming the news, he said: “His announcement is great news for Wales with substantial funding to electrify the North Wales Rail Mainline. On top of that Wales will get further funding through Barnett consequentials from investment in local projects in England.”