National Infrastructure Commission will be asked to consider Aberystwyth – Carmarthen rail link

Elin Jones AM has welcomed the news that the Welsh Government will be referring the case for the reinstatement of the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen rail line to the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales.

The establishment of the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) was agreed in Plaid Cymru’s deal with the Welsh Government, along with a full feasibility study into the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen rail line.

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates AM, said in the National Assembly for Wales this week that he would call on NICW, the body which will be responsible for the funding and implementation of public sector infrastructure projects in Wales, to consider the results of the feasibility study in order to incorporate it into a future national transport finance plan. Mr Skates also expanded on the feasibility work to be undertaken.

Elin Jones said:

“This is another important stage in the development of the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line, and I’m glad that this feasibility study will be funded as part of the budget agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Government. The steps set out by the Cabinet Secretary show that it is being taken seriously by Welsh Government.

On referring the Feasibility study to NICW, Mr Skates said:

“I think that this project would be an appropriate proposal for the national infrastructure commission for Wales to take a look at once it’s up and running, and I intend asking the commission to do just that. However, in the meantime, we are commissioning a feasibility study, as I say, to build on the existing evidence, and I can outline what that study will incorporate.

On what the feasibility study would include, Mr Skates said:

“We’ll carry out a review of the track, we’ll look at structures and stations and tunnelling and we’ll look at telecoms and a number of other issues.

“In terms of deliverability, it could be done because the vast majority of the track has already been retained.

“But it will be a costly project to undertake, which is why I think it has to have expert, independent advice provided to Government in the form of expert advice from the National Infrastructure Commission.”