16 November 2000

Alison Halford (Delyn):

Would she make a statement on the cost of improving the North-South Transport links, as outlined by the "Welsh North South Transport Links Study" of May 2000. (OAQ7770)

Sue Essex:

I am committed to improving links between north and south Wales. The report prepared by Babtie estimated that the total cost to implement the schemes to improve the north to south road route is £270 million. I have to consider the levels of investment in the context of the funding provided in the draft budget. My decision must also take into account the needs for transport infrastructure and public transport investment across Wales. In terms of public transport, I am expecting improved rail links between north and south Wales to be included in the new Wales and Borders franchise with revenue subsidy from the shadow strategic rail authority.

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