Wales politics

Electrification to Swansea 'not a terribly good use of money'

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Media captionTransport Secretary Chris Grayling defended the decision to MPs in January

Electrifying the railway between Cardiff and Swansea is not a "terribly good use of taxpayers' money", the transport secretary has said.

Chris Grayling told MPs that the money could be better spent on improvements elsewhere that would "actually generate measurable improvements".

He suggested upgrading the track between the two cities would not speed up services.

Mr Grayling was giving evidence to the Commons' Transport Committee.

He said: "Spending £500 million to enable the same trains to travel on the same track, at the same speed, at the same timetable between Cardiff and Swansea isn't a terribly good use of taxpayers' money - when that money could be better spent on capacity improvements in other parts of the country that would actually generate measurable improvements for passengers, take traffic off the roads, and improve congestion."

Plans to electrify the track between Swansea and Cardiff were scrapped last July.

Mr Grayling was attacked by Welsh politicians from Plaid Cymru and Labour following the announcement.

Swansea council leader Rob Stewart said he felt "betrayed" by the decision.

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