THE UK Government has said it ‘does not intend to revisit’ the issue of devolving responsibility for rail infrastructure in Wales to the Welsh Government.
Responding to a recommendation made by the Welsh Affairs Committee in its report into the Wales and Borders franchise, the Government said it would continue to ‘liaise closely with the Welsh Government on the specification and funding of Network Rail’s operations in England and Wales for each five-year railway Control Period to ensure that Welsh requirements for increased capacity on the network are reflected’. It also noted there was ‘no political consensus’ to take forward any plans for devolution.
The committee had recommended ‘the devolution of rail infrastructure and associated funding and their interaction with the franchising powers [be] kept under review’. In the Welsh Government’s response to the report, Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, said it will be ‘important to open discussion with the UK Government on the matter of devolution of funding for railway infrastructure and direction over Network Rail’.