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Plaid warns HS3 'will leave Wales in the slow lane'

Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams, has responded to the news that proposals for a High Speed Rail 3 (HS3) link between Manchester and Leeds have taken a step forward by warning that the project will leave Welsh transport in the slow lane.

Mr Williams, who has campaigned at length for the electrification of the North Wales Main Line as well as compensation for Wales from the England only HS2 project, urged a country-wide approach to transport investment which would allow people to move around Wales with ease, rather than rely on cross-border links.

Responding to the announcement, Mr Williams said:

"As proposals for a HS3 link in the north of England take a step forward, yet again Wales is being left in the slow lane. HS3 will take any supposed benefit for north Wales from HS2 even further out of reach - up north!

"Welsh railways are in desperate need of electrification and have been for decades, yet the UK government is forcing Welsh taxpayers to foot part of the bill for the England-only HS2 project expected to cost anywhere between £40-80 billion.

"Rather than relying on cross-border links to get from one end of our country to another, Plaid Cymru wants to see a country-wide approach to transport investment where people can travel all around Wales with ease.

"We have campaigned at length for the electrification of the North Wales Main Line, as well as lines in the south, yet Labour and Tory governments have made agonisingly slow progress on this.

"Wales needs a transport infrastructure that is fit-for-purpose - this is vital to creating jobs and helping the Welsh economy grow.

"We also demand that if HS3 goes ahead and is labelled an UK-wide project when it will clearly not benefit Wales, then our nation should receive fair compensation so we can invest in our own transport system and get Wales moving again."