Costs row must not jeopardise rail plans, say union

First published in News

URGENT action has been called for in the row over who is going to pay to electrify railway lines in Barry and across the Vale.

Scheduled upgrades to lines throughout the Vale of Glamorgan and the south Wales valleys have been put at risk, with Cardiff and London locking horns over who should fund the project.

The Welsh Government are insisting that the costs for the £400million improvements were agreed to be covered by the UK Government who in turn say that ministers in Cardiff agreed to bear the cost.

Rail Union RMT have said that immediate action must be taken to prevent the project being put in jeopardy.

Mick Cash, RMT acting general secretary said: “It is deeply damaging that essential rail modernisation plans are being jeopardised by a row between Cardiff and London over financing when as far as staff and passengers are concerned these issues should have been put to bed right from the outset.

“RMT is sick of the political point scoring that is going on here, we are also well aware of the interview with David Cameron himself in which he confirmed that the works would be funded centrally.

"This scenario has echoes of the electrification scheme in the North, due to be completed in 2018, where senior officials were unable to give assurances this week to the Transport Select Committee that those works would be funded.

“The trail on all of this goes right to the heart of the Westminster Government who seem to be prepared to renege on commitments to rail improvements and modernisation at the drop of a hat. RMT will work with local communities to end the posturing and point-scoring and to deliver the modern, high-quality rail services that our passengers deserve.”

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