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Islwyn MP hits out at ‘overspending’ railway electrification project

The MP for Islwyn, Chris Evans, has hit out during Treasury Questions at the cost and delays of the Great Western Railway electrification project and asked Ministers how they will stop projects overspending in future.

Pointing out that the railway electrification project was supposed to provide ‘huge economic benefits’, the Gwent MP said the project has so far over-spent by £1.2 billion and not a single yard has yet been electrified.

Answering for the Government, The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones MP, said that ‘the efficiency of the way we deliver our infrastructure projects is of course a critical consideration’ and suggested he would highlight the Islwyn MP’s concerns with the Department for Transport.

Mr Evans said:

‘It is so important that when the Government embarks on major infrastructure projects with high hopes and big ambitions, as it should, the projects do not overspend and begin to look like a waste of taxpayers’ money.

‘My constituents, businesses and everyone else who would benefit from the electrification of the Great Western Railway between London Paddington and Swansea were promised something which has not yet been delivered.

‘I hope the Minister’s conversations with the Department for Transport are productive and ensure that taxpayers get value for money in future projects, which hopefully will be delivered in a much more successful way.’