An MS has taken aim at the “empty promise” made by Rishi Sunak to electrify the North Wales Main Line.
Llyr Gruffydd, who represents North Wales in the Senedd, said the Tory Prime Minister “can’t be trusted” to follow through on the pledge.
Sunak recently revealed that the UK Government was breaking its promise to build the northern leg of HS2
He then went on to claim that the £36bn earmarked for the high speed rail project would be used to invest in rail infrastructure in “the north”, which would include £1bn to electrify the railway in North Wales.
The pledges Sunak made are already beginning to unravel with the UK Government U-turning on its commitment to reopen the Leamside railway line, in the north of England, just 24 hours after making the announcement.
Mr Gruffydd pointed out that the Conservative government in Westminster have previously promised to electrify the south Wales line between Cardiff and Swansea before scrapping it.
The Plaid Cymru politician also accused the Conservatives of plucking the £1bn figure for the North Wales Main Line “out of thin air”.
Transport expert Prof Stuart Cole, from the University of South Wales has said it would in fact cost at least £1.5bn to electrify the line.
Plaid Cymru has renewed its call for the UK Government to hand over the consequential funding from HS2 that it is denying Wales. Under the full HS2 proposal that would have been £5bn but the reduced consequential for a scaled back HS2 is still estimated to be £2.5bn.
Tory ministers labelled HS2 as an England and Wales project and claim that they don’t owe Wales the money because of this. This despite not a single metre of track being laid in Wales.
Scotland and Northern Ireland on the other hand have received billions of pounds of funding as a result of HS2.
Mr Gruffydd said: “The Tory government in Westminster has proven time and time again that it is completely untrustworthy. This is yet another empty promise by a desperate and duplicitous Prime Minister .
“The Tories repeatedly promised that the northern leg of HS2 would be built and we now all know how that ended up.
“We cannot believe a word the Conservatives have to say on electrification. They promised the electrification of the south Wales line between Cardiff and Swansea for years, before it was scrapped.
“The electrification of the North Wales Main Line is long overdue, but it’s clear that they’ve plucked the £1bn figure out of thin air and that the cost is closer to £1.5bn. With inflation as it is it’s likely that the cost will balloon even more over the coming years.
“We should also remember that the UK Government is denying Wales billions of pounds it owes by claiming HS2 is an England and Wales project.
“The Tories continue to make this false claim despite not a single metre of track being laid in Wales.
“HS2 isn’t just an England-only scheme, it’s a London-centric scheme. Wales should therefore receive full compensation for funding spent on the first phase so far, just as we did for Crossrail.
“The UK Government now needs to hand over to Wales the enormous amount money we are already owed from this failed project and it needs to do so sooner rather than later.
“The billions in funding that we’re rightly owed would transform our transport infrastructure, restore our bus services, and significantly improve north-south connectivity in our nation.
“The rushed way this proposal for north Wales was announced, without any development work, no details on timescales or actual costs, shows that they’re just making it up as they go along.
“The situation proves what Plaid Cymru has been saying for years that Westminster politicians can’t be trusted to act in the interest of Wales.
“This is why we need control of our own rail infrastructure in Wales as a matter of urgency.
“With Keir Starmer’s Labour Party in Westminster also refusing to commit to handing over the billions in HS2 funding that is our by rights it’s becoming clearer by the day that only Plaid Cymru speaks for Wales.”