Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Swansea West, challenged the Welsh Secretary, Alun Cairns, in Parliament today.
Speaking in the Commons, Geraint Davies said, “Rail electrification from London to Cardiff will save 15 minutes on journey times, but the new Swansea Metro will save half an hour of journey time between Cardiff and Swansea. What’s more, the City Deal will create 10,000 new jobs and more passenger demand. So will the Minister look again at the business case for an electrified Swansea Metro between Swansea and Cardiff, to provide an environmentally friendly stronger future that will offset the negative impacts of HS2 for investment in South Wales?”
Responding to the question, the Welsh Secretary promised to look into the proposals and discuss them further.
Speaking after the debate, Geraint Davies said, “The reasons the government gave for breaking their promise to provide electrification form Cardiff to Swansea have been based on the idea that there’s no journey time saving from electrification.
“However as I pointed out in Parliament today, the current electrification journey time saving from London to Cardiff is only 15 minutes, while an electrified Swansea Metro would save 30 minutes between Cardiff and Swansea, giving an overall saving of 45 mins between London and Swansea. This is due to the rerouting of the line between Cardiff and Swansea.
“Taken together with the extra 10,000 jobs for the City Deal and more passenger numbers, the business case for electrification has been transformed. This is particularly important in the context of HS2’s investment in England. While HS2 costs £55 billion, the Swansea Metro could cost only £1 billion. Swansea deserves its share of the £55 billion spent in England, and the Metro allows regional connectivity as well as shorter journey times to Cardiff and London.”
The Parliamentary debate follows a high-level meeting with Swansea businesses, universities, councils and stakeholders organised by Geraint Davies last week.