This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister David Cameron is announcing an ambitious rail package that will give a massive boost to the Welsh economy.
In his speech to the UK investment summit in Newport, the Prime Minister will announce that the UK government has agreed a funding package with the Welsh government to electrify the Valley Lines.
He will also announce that the UK government will cover the full costs of electrifying the Great Western mainline to Swansea and devolve the Wales and Borders rail franchise, so that the Welsh government decides the new franchise in 2018.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
I am delighted to announce today that we are going to press ahead with the electrification of the Valley Lines. After years of neglect, this part of Wales will finally get the infrastructure it needs with faster, more modern, more efficient trains and the impact will be huge.
Spreading the employment opportunities from Cardiff and out to the Valleys and helping hardworking people from all parts of this great nation to get on. This has only been possible because of the UK government and shows our long-term economic plan in action and working for the people of Wales.
Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb said:
This is fantastic news for Wales and provides a major incentive for businesses to invest in the country. I am delighted that we can now seize this opportunity to transform the Valley communities. Effective transport links are a vital part of any modern economy and there are few areas in the UK more in need of the improved commuter costs, travel times and more frequent train services that this investment brings.
This is all part of our long term economic plan for Wales to rebalance the economy and stimulate job creation so that more people can benefit from the security of a regular wage.
The benefits of reduced journey times and increased capacity means that the Valleys can benefit from the economic growth that cities such as Cardiff and Newport are already experiencing by making it quicker and easier for people to travel to them.
Journey times from both Merthyr Tydfil and Treherbert to Cardiff would be reduced to a little over 50 minutes.
In order to make this deal happen, the UK government will take over sponsorship and fund delivery of the Cardiff-Bridgend section of the Main Line electrification scheme to Swansea – worth £105 million, and contribute £125 million towards the costs of the wider Valley Lines electrification scheme.
The Welsh government will take over sponsorship and delivery of the Valley Lines project.