Nick Smith MP has asked the Government to come clean on their electrification plans after cancelling improvements across the country.

Transport Secretary Patrick McCloughlin has insisted the electrification of the Great Western rail line is his “top priority” despite the “reset” of the £38bn five-year plan to overhaul Britain’s railways.

Electrification work has been “paused” on the Midland mainline and on the Transpennine route between Leeds and Sheffield.

But Mr McCloughlin said: “Electrification of the Great Western Line is a top priority. And I want Network Rail to concentrate its efforts on getting that right.”

Blaenau Gwent Labour MP Nick Smith said: “The Government must come clean on its plans for electrification of the Great Western route. They have yet to deny that only two of the four lines west of Newbury will be electrified and they need to confirm this either way.

“My view is that we need four lines as originally planned, so that Wales and the valleys lines can properly benefit from rail electrification investment. If it’s not done now, it will only mean higher costs and more disruption in future.

“The transport minister must now throw his weight behind the full scheme to ensure it is delivered.”

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