Plaid Cymru Shadow Spokesperson for Economy and Finance Rhun ap Iorwerth today questioned Welsh Government’s support for the £100bn HS2 project, with Wales potentially losing out to the tune of £750m over the course of the project.
The HS2 rail development is designated as an England and Wales project, even though not a mile of the project’s proposed route crosses into Wales, but it’s designation means Wales loses out on crucial consequential funding as part of the Barnett Formula, which Scotland and Northern Ireland do receive.
If the project were designated as one for England only, Wales would receive somewhere in the region of £50m a year in consequential funding due to the Barnett Formula, and in his first questions to Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates since being appointed the party’s Shadow Spokesperson for Economy and Finance, Mr ap Iorwerth pressed Welsh Government on this matter.
The Ynys Môn AM said:
“HS2 rail is designated an England and Wales project even though there’s not a mile of it in Wales and could cost Wales up to £750m. Today I asked what Welsh Government are doing to get that full Barnett consequential to Wales as Scotland and Northern Ireland ARE getting.
“To give some perspective about the cost we’re talking about here, the first 6.6 miles north out of London is projected to cost £8.25bn – that’s £1.25bn per mile. You could fully fund the reopening of the Carmarthen-Aberystwyth line, electrify the line between Cardiff and Swansea and reopen the Amlwch-Gaerwen line on Ynys Môn for the cost of a single mile of HS2 in London.
“The Labour Welsh Government has supported the project in the past, but surely it is time for government to change its mind and argue against the HS2 project because it’s against Wales’ interests”