SWETA: Cardiff rail electrification may create new jobs

Written on:March 12, 2024
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The South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA) is hopeful that the proposed electrification of the region’s rail network may boost the local job sector, creating new employment opportunities.

SEWTA represents 10 councils in south-east Wales and is responsible for coordinating transport strategy in the area. The £1bn electrification proposal, which is pending final approval from the UK government, has already elicited a positive response from Welsh Transport Minister Carl Sargeant who spoke in favour of the plan last month saying that it is “essential” to upgrade the Great Western Main Line and the Valleys Lines.

SEWTA is now urging Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan to urgently bring the matter to the notice of the government. Ms Gillan has already voiced her support for the electrification of the Valleys Line.

Andrew Morgan, chair of the South East Wales Transport Alliance, issued a statement saying that electrification of rail networks in Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea could ensure better accessibility to work places for more than 1.4m local people and “act as a catalyst for wider economic regeneration in the region.”

Electrification of rail networks will broaden the scope of employment in the region, Ms Gillan said, explaining that it will also present “opportunities for some of our poorest communities and attract investment to grow the private sector.”

The SWETA chair also mentioned the environmental merits of the new project, emphasising that rail transport can significantly lower carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, besides improving connectivity in and around Cardiff.

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