Plaid leader slams north-south rail links
Plaid Cymru’s leader travelled by train from Cardiff to Llandudno Junction to highlight Wales’ “crumbling 19th Century rail system”.
Adam Price said the country’s transport infrastructure and north-south links were “unfit for purpose”.
Speaking at the end of his four hour journey today, Mr Price said only a “rail revolution” would fix Wales’ “broken system”.
He said: “Anyone who has ever tried to get around Wales by train knows that what we have now is a crumbling, 19th century rail system that simply isn’t fit for purpose,” he said.
“We have about 5% of the UK’s population and yet we get just 1% of rail investment. We have cancelled electrification and meanwhile the vanity project that is HS2, presses ahead.
“Never mind a high-speed rail link north to south, Wales doesn’t even have a low-speed rail link north to south.”
A 200 mile car journey from Holyhead to Cardiff takes at least 4 hours and 45 minutes by rail, while a 290 mile trip from Holyhead to London can be made in 3 hours and 47 minutes.
Mr Price’s journey from south to north, went via six train stations in England, becuase of the lack of a direct north-south link.
Plaid Cymru say despite Wales having around 5% of the UK population, it receives just 1% of rail infrastructure spending.
It would create a a trans-Wales railway by re-opening the train line between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, with a second phase connecting north to south, as part of a £20 billion “Green Jobs Revolution”.
Plaid would also commit to electrifying all major rail lines by 2030, he said.
Mr Price added: “Wales is almost unique in Europe that you have to leave your own country to travel between north and south.
“No country in the world should tolerate this but if we we want to connect our country then we have to invest in it and reconnect the north and south and a trans-Wales railway along the west coast and 21st century infrastructure so that no part of Wales is left behind.
“What we don’t want is for Wales to make the same mistake as the UK where all the investment and affluence goes to one corner, we want to spread it evenly in every part of Wales as a nation we will fail or succeed together.”
Mr Price will visit both the Arfon and Ynys Môn constituencies during the last weekend of election campaigning, this afternoon.
He is expected to address supporters in Bangor this afternoon and will visit Holyhead, Anglesey on Saturday.
Mr Price told the Local Democracy Reporting Service, “When Plaid Cymru wins, Wales wins.
“Wales is not a priority for the main Westminster parties, but what will make them listen is if they see a bank of Plaid MP’s on the opposition benches.
“The only thing that will deliver real change is if Wales finds its voice.”
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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