'No agreement' that Welsh Government should fund valleys rail electrification

10:11am Wednesday 19th March 2014

THE row over rail electrification of the Valley lines – and whether or not the Welsh Government will need to pay for some of it – continued to rumble on in the Senedd yesterday.

The first minister Carwyn Jones said there was no agreement at any time that the Welsh Government should fund the project, which includes electrifying the line to Ebbw Vale.

On Monday Mr Jones told journalists that he was concerned that the UK Government’s commitment on funding electrification had drifted.

But David Jones, secretary of state for Wales, said in response that he was "shocked" at the suggestion that the UK Government would pay for the entire cost of the project and said letters showed a deal had been done between Cardiff and Westminster.

First minister Carwyn Jones told the Assembly that there had been “no agreement at any time that the Welsh Government should fund any of the electrification."

He said he had been "careful to emphasise that what I wanted was clarification which I’ve not yet had. I had a letter from the prime minister on Friday that doesn’t clarify the issue.

“The response from the secretary of state bordered on the hysterical considering the comment I had made," he argued.

The first minister added that the issue wasn’t a devolved matter: “Why on earth would the Welsh Government look to pay for something that isn’t devolved?”

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