Plans announced today that will see the electrification of the Great Western main line as far west as Swansea as well as the Valleys Lines network, the Vale of Glamorgan line and connecting lines to Maesteg and Ebbw Vale, have been welcomed by Welsh Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan.
Mr Vaughan, who has been closely involved in supporting campaigners calling for the moves, said:
"Full electrification of the Great Western line to Swansea and also of the Valleys Lines will have a huge impact in attracting investment into South and West Wales. It will help drive jobs and growth, particularly in the Swansea Bay and Cardiff City Regions, and bring the benefits of rail modernisation to almost two-thirds of the population.
An unanswerable case has been put to the UK Government since it first announced its decision to end electrification at Cardiff. The original proposal would have increased costs and sent negative signals about whether the rest of South and West Wales was really open for business. Their about turn is great news for all of those stakeholders who worked so hard to put the arguments forward.
The opportunities that rail electrification will provide must now be taken with both hands and the challenge now lies in providing more regular services to and from London and in creating the necessary carriage capacity that increasing passenger numbers demands. Investment in key infrastructure projects such as this can be used to attract additional investment to support and develop job creation, freight transport and the expansion of our economic base."