AN MS has hit out at the Welsh Government for prioritising the South Wales metro system over the one planned for North Wales.
Darren Millar, MS for Clwyd West, criticised Welsh Government plans to invest £750 million in the South Wales Metro network, which will see a system of heavy and light rail, trams and new buses crossing the region with several new train stations.
In comparison a total of £50m has been allocated for proposals for the North Wales Metro, which would make it easier and faster to travel between the North Wales coast, Wrexham, Deeside and Merseyside with improved bus and rail connections.
“The people of North Wales deserve to know why the Welsh Government is investing £700 million more in a metro for the South than the one planned for here,” said Mr Millar.
“They are sick of being the poor relation and the Welsh Government need to explain to them why North Wales is continually overlooked when it comes to funding.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said there is “unprecedented” spending on North Wales’ transport infrastructure, including the Bontnewydd bypass and A55 improvements.
Mr Millar’s comments followed his anger over the investment confirmed during last week’s Business Statement in the Welsh Parliament.
“There’s going to be significant Welsh Government investment in the South Wales metro, some £750 million, compared to just a paltry sum of £50 million being spent and invested on the North Wales metro,” he said.
“We need to understand why there’s such a disparity in the funding between North and South Wales for these two metro projects, and an update on the development of the project in the North.”
Transport for Wales has said that from December this year it will increase the number of services on the Borderlands Line between Wrexham and Bidston to two per hour.
From December 2022, TfW will introduce direct services between Liverpool and Llandudno.
Brand-new Metro trains will provide a faster journey, more capacity and improved onboard facilities including air conditioning.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The metro projects in north, south east and south west Wales are at different stages and funding levels will change as more schemes move into construction.
“In North Wales we have already allocated £23m which includes investment in electric buses, funding for active travel and improvements to stations. As we start constructing new railway stations, such as the proposed Deeside Parkway, and park and ride/park and share facilities, more funding will need to be allocated.
“Overall unprecedented investment is being made to improve transport infrastructure across North Wales. For example, as well as the North Wales Metro, £135m has been invested in the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass and £30m in the improvements to the A55 at Aber Tai’r Meibion which are currently underway.”