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'Wales deserves fair share of rail billions' from HS2 project, says Carmarthenshire MP

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: August 05, 2014

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CALLS have been made for Wales to secure a fair share of funding from the controversial HS2 railway project.

Carmarthenshire MP Jonathan Edwards has said he wanted to see Wales get on track with a fair share from spending on the England-only high speed rail project.

In his keynote speech at the National Eisteddfod yesterday, Mr Edwards, who has been campaigning on this issue since he was elected in 2010, made the case that Welsh taxpayers should not be forced to fund an England-only project and that Wales was entitled to a sum of around £2 billion to £4 billion of the HS2 expenditure.

Before the launch, Mr Edwards said: "This project is estimated to cost £50 billion to £80 billion, improving rail links between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

"The Westminster Government has branded this a UK-wide scheme but the last time I looked, all those cities were in England.

"Welsh taxpayers should not be expected to foot the bill for this vanity project unless our nation is fairly compensated."

Mr Edwards said based on Wales being home to five per cent of the UK population, it should receive between £2 billion and £4 billion for a fair share.

He added: "This is a staggering sum of money that could revolutionise our transport system and deliver much needed projects such as the electrification of the North Wales main line, the Valleys lines, a South Wales metro, and countless road projects up and down Wales."

Swansea MP Geraint Davies has also made calls for the extra train services to boost investment in the region.

During a Parliamentary debate earlier this month, Mr Davies raised concerns that the HS2 rail link could come at an economic disadvantage to Welsh regions and suggested that the Welsh Government should receive more funding as a result.

The Swansea MP said there was a case for Wales to receive a fair share of the HS2 funding.

"There is a case for extra funding of approaching £2 billion," he said.

Now, Mr Edwards has called on the Welsh public to support the HS2 fair share campaign by contacting their local MP, whatever party they belonged to.

Rebecca Jones / rebecca.jones@swwmedia.co.uk / @jonesrebeccaj

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