Good to see the "chatter" on this issue increasing, and involving those inside as well as outside Government. I hope it translates into action, substantial and soon:
this really is good news - lets hope it goes ahead as it could kick start some sort of economic regeneration. It would be even better if the contracting work was given to Welsh firms so the money invested actually stayed in Wales too.
This should be the focus of the next round of EU money in whatever way it can be, everything in the valleys to get an electric light rail system on current and as many old lines we can bring back into use cheaply ./ such as reopening the pretty much intact swansea to aberdare line.
Article in today's echo about train trams for the Cardiff and valleys metro area. Welsh government has said electrification to Swansea is more important. I would have thought biggest bang for buck would have been to spend the money on the valley lines and Cardiff metro.
It is indicative of the way policy seems to be defined in Wales. Shame really
I haven't seen the Echo article but technicaly it's not really possible to electrify the valley lines unless the main line is electrified as far as Bridgend.
Since having to use hybrid trains for Swansea-London services due to a non-electrified Bridgend-Swansea section would be ludicrous, electrification to Swnsea is more or less a prerequiste for electrification of the valley lines and any tram/light rail projects.
It's about developing a proper Metro network rather than doing 'one-offs' like the disasterous Edinburgh tram project.
Mark (IIRC) posted a paper on here a while back (or linked to the IFAs website)...it was a good paper and it discussed electrification of the valley lines. it itemised the cost as well.
Thanks, I'll dig it out.
Just thought I'd post the link to the echo article you've been referring to:
In my opinion, electrification of the valley lines is extremely important
I just hope we get some proper joined up thinking on this one. It seems odd that they have not created a huge Park and Ride at Taffs Well or even made a new stop with parking opposite Pughs Garden Centre in Morganstown. As a regular car and bus user on the A470 I would imagine at peak times it is well over capacity.
i think the crux of it wasx that the winning contractot has to meet local social targets such as training and development and job creation etc so while it doesn't specify local contractors they are the obvious winners to tackle these local clauses etc.
Totally agree Jantra. Anything that retains the wealth in Wales is better for our economy at the end of the day. Give me a Penderyn on the rocks over anything from Scotland any day
The Scottish parliament has given the go ahead for the electrification of the line between Glasgow and Edinbourgh.
If anything should be devolved to Cardiff Bay from Westminster it should be infrastructure and Transport.
We are not getting our slice of the cake in Wales, we are not even getting crumbs.
There are over 3,000 miles of Electrified Railway lines in Great Britain, not a single mile of it is in Wales.
Transport must be devolved.
Hang on a minute, somehow it is absurd to think that the owners and operators of a particular piece of infrastructure should pay for the necessary improvements required to bring it up to standard. So, instead of the private sector owners of the airport having to take responsibility for it, public money should be used to subsidise the lack of private sector investment. Hmmmmm, and this is a failure on the part of WG how? Why should the tax payer be expected to stump up the money that the owners don't want to spend? Yet another private sector success story.
So Ok, over 40% of British Rail is electrified, this is not including the Tube in London, The Metro in Newcastle, The trams in Manchester or Nottingham or the Mersey Rail, etc
40% of the UK yet 0% of the Welsh Rail owned bt Network Rail is elecrified.
Transport is devolved in Scotland, look at the electricfication projects been given the go ahead there.
Westminster is leaving us behind on all forms of transport.
There are over 50 Motorway's in UK, only one stretch of M Road in Wales - from Chepstow to Pont Abraham - a substanstial part of this is only two lane.
Wake up Wales, we are being kippered.
Oh for a strong capital that stood its ground.
When is it going to happen
the good stories are few and far between. we only need to look how other areas have progressed since devolution and then it hits home just how poor WG have been.
free prescriptions though, it gives us a quality of life that makes us the envy of England
Eric, I agree with you about Objective1 funding going to community projects rather than infrastructure being a mistake. But then again, who knows what levels community cohesion could have fallen to if these funds had been spent on infrastructure? And yes the WDA was a successful well-known brand, but then again, inward investment has been falling since the 3rd world economies have industrialised and 2nd world states acceded to the EU. I asked what could have been done? The WG has had very little power and very few levers. Add in the labour party being deadlocked between the parliamentary branch who are desperate to hold on to their power-base and the assembly lot who have to appeal to the devolution mindset and in whose interests it is to keep the welsh electorate poor and politically illiterate. What could have been done beyond the EU money being better spent? WG is promoting/ seeding the bio/life science sector, but as for renewables have only been able to approve up to 50mw. Really, criticism of the WG needs to be directed towards the politcal aims of the fragmented labour party, rather than the failure of civil servants or other workers. The tories are just as fragmented between Wales and england, tge libdems are hopeless and Plaid too broad a church. We need more autonomy and a massive broom
start by reversing (if possible) the ridiculous tory local government act 1996 whereby Wales had 22 LA's. We have 8 health authorities and 3 (or it is 4) police forces. undertake some serious consolidation of the public sector where we can. lets be leaders in delivering public services effectively.
WG could have adopted a pro business stance a lot sooner. they could have given the populist policies a swerve and realised at the outset Wales is east/west economically and will never be north/south. They should have had Cardiff compete directly with Bristol and the Wales/South West principle regional city - forget Cardiff as capital of Wales as it really only means something to us in Wales.
infrastructure should have been overhauled without reference to westminster. yes free prescriptions would have had to go and possibly university places but what's the point of having a healthy educated populace if they have no work.
objective 1 has been mentioned so I won't mention it again.
I don't buy you needed tax raising powers etc etc (including legislatory powers) because other regions of England have managed to develop their economies perfectly well without being able to change law, policy or raise tax. So thats no excuse.
sadly for us in Wales I think the early years the AMs were more interested in pretending to be big hitters than actually creating a civil service infrastructure that deliver what was needed. to many chiefs and not enough indians.
WG tried developing business, lets cite some examples:
Entrepreneur action - oh dear, flag ship Cardiff based agent of WG ends up insolvent
WG - only allows business to tender for WG contracts as long as contract is not over 25% of turnover, not even if they are the best for the job
WG - only allow businesses with three years accounts tender, even if new start is best business for the job
WG - doesn't allow commercial practices to take place when undertaking private sector contract negotiation - result = poor value for money
the list goes on, WG have been dreadful, the civil servants amateur and the whole experiment, if it is to succeed, needs a complete rethink
and I really wish Carwyn (or whoever) would stop going on about Barnett, we get far far more than we put in so we are doing really well out of the block grant as it is. make do with what we have, spend it more wisely, employ people who will spend it like it is there own money as opposed to some junket.
Jantra, you know full well the findings of the Holtham commission, you know that Wales has been skanked on council housing sale receipts, overpayment of rent vs repairs, to the tune of hundreds of millions. We have one motorway, no modern rail network, despite all of the English and Scottish conurbations having upgraded road and rail. The line from liverpool st to norwich, clacton and southend has been electric since the 60s, there is no economic justification for this being the case rather than the gwr. Its going to take decades to develop a corporate and civuc structure in Wales, and a parallel civil society. Look at the overspends in whitehall on the nhs computer system and military killshit.DOzens of billions over the past twenty years wasted. Plus incompetents from lamont to major to brown at no 11 wasting hundreds of billions. Our shitness in Wales really does pale into insignificance compared to the uk government and civil service
I really am not interested in whether England piss their pot up the wall. honestly, it matters not what bit and doesn't really impact my life here in Wales.
lets not measure our own inability with the inability of others.
We are and have been for some considerable time under many different Whitehall Governments being massively short changed in Wales.
For buisness to thrive its crucial that our infrastructure becomes like like the rest of Western Europe.
Road, Rail and Air. All must be devolved to have any hope.
jantra - over 3,000 miles of Electrified line owned by Network Rail -not a single mile of Electrifed line in Wales.
Its a disgrace. Its prejudice.
All these decisions made in Whitehall.
They seldom give us anything - wake up
Jantra, we dont "prefer welfare" in Wales. We just haven't had the same level of infrastructure funding in our main urban area (south wales) of two million people that other conurbations have had from the Uk government. The cental lowland belt in Scotland has a population of 3.5 million and has two electrified rail lines to London, plus an underground metro in glasgow, plus the very extensive electrified Glasgow suburban network, and the electrified glasgow to edinburgh line. So that means 5 lines/ networks were electrified in scotland BEFORE devolution for 3.5 million people, yet NOTHING was electrified in Wales since the year dot, even though we have one of the oldest and historically best developed networks in the world. Our trains here are antiques, I had visitors from overseas here recently and they were aghast at our diesel trains. Using Scotland as a benchmark, they had 5 electrified schemes for 3.5 milliion jocks, we should get 3 electrified schemes for 2 million taffs. The economic benefits of electrified railways are well know, that's why every country in Europe has them. Why didn't Whitehall invest in Welsh rail electrification?
The term 'prefer welfare' was tongue in cheek along the lines of us Welsh don't want to see our benefits cut for longer term infrastructure projects.
As I said, The Conservatives were hardly going to pump money into an area that patholigcally despised them were they. Thats about it. The conservatives, just like labour, are going to look after their core areas first and foremost.
If us Welsh were not so vehement about our hatred of Thatcher (who in my opinion did to mining what had to be done) then perhaps we could engage a bit more with Westminster and develop an infrastrucutre pplan. As it stands, some Welsh abhor the idea of the Conservatives for no other reason than they modernised the Uk 30 years ago and some areas have not really managed to recover, despite 15 year sof neglect from their beloved Labour party.
the attitude of the electorate eh!
when for example we start showing some maturity with our political appraisal and critique parties of all colours, then perhaps we'll reach the level of maturity that can enter debate on a meaningful basis. Do you think it is good or bad for Wales that we have ministers in the Senedd who won't engage with their counterparts in Westminster? I don't. I think if you are a politician or diplomat you have to put personal feelings to one side and work with whoever it takes to get the result.
Wales has always been a backwater in many regards. I am sorry if you think that is insulting but when you travel around just the UK you see attitudes are that much different. Compare to how Aelc Salmod has Cameron trottting up to edinburgh every five minutes whereas Carwyn Jones doesn't even register on Cameron's radar.
If you want to understand why we do so poorly in Wales it is because our politicians are looking for cheap populism and soundbite rather than politics with teeth. Of course, as an electorate we get everything we deserve: if we keep voting monkeys we'll get chumbawumba from our typewriters.
We haven't had the political class to carry out what is needed. My view:scrap the Senedd and have the 50 or so MPs in Westminter decide on devolved matters. That would mean the 50 or so MPs plus the 60 AMs would leave a political pool of 110 to choose the 50 MPs to represent Wales at a UK level and also decide Welsh only matters.
it would also help the conduit of information as all our politicians would be based in Westminster working with their fellow UK MPs on various issues. Instead we have politicians in Wales who simply don't engage on a UK level. its not rocket science.
All the London based parties have let us down.
The rail situation here is chronic.
Electric rail, is cleaner, cheaper, faster.
It would take 20 mins off the Port Talbot to London journey.
We have no metropolitan lines in Wales,Cardiff East does not have a single station.
The Motorways are not much better, motorways meant to say motorway.
One M road in Wales seriously holds us back and gives buisness here an unfair disadvantage - take CWL Airport main competitor is BRS, Cardiff Airport has one M road close to it the M4,
BRS has 4 M roads, the M4, M5, M32, M49 within a ten mile radius. The people at BRS are obviously using this when they are trying to attract new airlines, the same situation in Birmingham, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinbourgh.
Cardiff needs to grow some balls.
then vote labour at the next election for more of the same
as I keep saying, we get what we deserve. We know Labour deliver less than mediocre, we know they are most definitely not capable, yet because they protect our benefits and welfare, we won't vote them out of office.
we need a pro business, pro development party in power, not a party that wants to protect Wales from the growth policies being implemented by Westminster.
you reap what you sow
Replying to Jantra's last but one post -
That doesn't make sense. If the reason for no electrification prior to devolution was because we hate the Tories how come the Jocko's got electrification when clearly (1 Scottish Tory MP out of how many) they hate the Tories more than us? That of course is leaving aside the notion that if you govern a country you govern the whole country and not just the bit that likes you. You seem to be tacitly agreeing that the south east of England has received the lions share of investment because it generally votes Tory to the detriment of the rest of the country.
Also the reason Salmond wields more power is because he's effectively leading a charge to dismantle the UK. Carwyn Jones isn't. What you seem to be advocating is a greater vote for Plaid to get the political landscape in Wales on the Westminster radar, bullying then into trying to placate us with buy offs. Clearly the strategy of going away from the UK poiltical stage rather than becoming more integrated is - according to you - working in Scotland and yet you suggest that we do the polar opposite.
We also get 50 MP's in your scheme even though we are clearly being reduced to 30 MP's (and the number of MP's throughout the UK is being reduced as a whole). That leaves us a a tiny fish is a very big pond with less political clout than we wielded before devolution. And given what was achieved by successive Tory govt's (who wouldn't invest in Wales because we don't vote for them or so you say) or Labour govts (who are financially incompetent and intent on keeping the Welsh population as welfare junkies or so you say) how exactly would this improve matters?
Your thinking is wooly on this one. You need to sort this out before you launch your centre right pro-capitalism party......
Transport in Scotland is devolved.
Labour are just as ineffective as the Tories in Wales.
Jantra - so what you are saying is that unless Wales votes Conservative in the next election you will be leaving the country? You are the Phil Collins of the forum........
If ever there was an incentive to vote Labour.....
I'm yanking your chain by the way.....
not really that Karl. I grow tired of people blaming a political party for something that happened 30 years ago. The party is different today than it was then, it has gone back to its roots and is much more centrist. prior to 1979 the Conservatives were fairly centrist (asyou'd expect from a party with the word Conservative as its name). Only under Thatcher did they swing to the right. In my view some of their policies are rather centrist yet some people in Wales have such a patholigical hatred and refuse to look at the manifesto. thats their choice of course and they are perfectly entitled to make that choice. but in my view it holds Wales back.
FWIW i have voted five times in my life:
2 x Labour
2 x Plaid
1 X LibDem
this reference to me being a tory boy is nonsense. It shows the polarisation of politics in Wales and the UK in general. Because I am right wing economically it seems to some that i cannot possibly be left wing on other issues. This of course it total nonsense and only a weak mind would consider that a person can only be left wing or right wing and not a mixture of both.
I pick what party is best for me at the election. I look at all of the manifestos on offer. i have no loyalty to any party and cannot understand how some people can support a political party like their football team. its madness.
The welsh part of network rail has only been devolved for a few months, Jantra. Previously we were part of England as far as rail infrastructure goes; we didn't get so much a slice of the pie as a few crumbs off the table. Following the McNulty report that will change. However to suggest that the 3.5 million lowland scots deserved 6 electrified railways pre-devo and the 2 million welsh deserved none because we are an "economic backwater" is laughable. Chickens....eggs, Jantra?
happy to be corrected, but I thought the SRA was broken up in 2006 with part of Welsh infrastructure passed over to WG (hence the reopening on the Ebbw Vale line).
as i said, its more to do with Edinburgh / Glasgow being a major economic powerhouse that they have the infrastructure that they do. glasgow is a city of 1m people, edinburgh half that. then you have the surrounding towns, its at least twice the size of South wales.
As Terrry Pratchet's finest alluded to, lets compare with say East Anglia or Plymouth and not cities that are way above us economically.
We have a grandiose self importance due to our capital city status, when the reality is we are just a nottingham or Bradford.
time will tell if WG are prepared to make tough choices for the long term interst of wales. we'll see if they commit to investing in the valleys whether Westminster does or not. of course they could, they could take the £174m per annum that they give ATW each year and invest that directly. Pax fares would rise as a result but we'd end up with a longer term solution that we all want.
Can't see it happening though - do you really think the Welsh politicians will target long term strategic policy that could see them lose their income as opposed to safe short term populist policies that win votes? i'd prefer several years of famine for lnger term feast - would you?
Jantra, for the ymptinth time, south wales has 2 million people and scotland's central belt 3.5 million. The lines to norwich, ipswich, clacton and southend were electrified 40 years ago. You can argue til you are tory blue in the face but we been skanked big time bra
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM