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Autumn Budget 2017: North and Mid-Wales growth deals on the table but no Swansea tidal lagoon decision yet

Words: Roger Milne
Wales / Shutterstock_164056865

The UK Government has committed to begin formal negotiations towards a North Wales growth deal and will also consider proposals for a Mid-Wales growth deal. It has promised to work with local partners and the Welsh Government on this.

In addition, Budget documents reveal that the government will invest in rail infrastructure upgrades that will provide direct services from Pembroke Dock to London via Carmarthen on new, state-of-the-art Intercity Express trains.

The Department for Transport also continues to develop proposals for a number of potential rail schemes within Wales.

This includes station improvements at Cardiff Central Station and Swansea, improving Cardiff to Severn Tunnel Junction Relief Lines, and improving journey times between: Swansea and Cardiff; South Wales, Bristol and London; and on the North Wales Main Line.

The government will also consider proposals to improve journey times on the Wrexham-Bidston line and provide necessary funding to develop the business case. Also confirmed were proposals to abolish tolls on the Severn bridges at the end of 2018, and cut the tolls in January 2018 as the bridges come back into public ownership.

At this juncture, however, no decision has been made about whether the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon will be backed.

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