MONEY from the HS2 line could transform railways in Carmarthenshire according to a Plaid Cymru councillor.

Cllr Ann Davies – who has launched her campaign for the new Carmarthenshire seat in Westminster ahead of the forthcoming general election – has said that the money from the line would ‘completely transform the railway system.’

Earlier this month, Jon Thompson, the executive chair of the HS2 line between London to Birmingham told the Transport Select Committee that the estimated cost of the scheme has risen to £66bn and the Plaid Cymru candidate has said how some of the money would be beneficial to Carmarthenshire and Wales as a whole.

In Wales, transport is a devolved matter, meaning it is not funded by the UK Government, however, rail infrastructure itself is not a devolved matter and Wales does not receive funding to reflect rail spending in England, although Scotland and Northern Ireland do.

Plaid Cymru has worked out that if Wales were to receive funding in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland through the Barnett Formula on HS2 funding, Wales should be getting £3.9bn.

Ms Davies said: “This money would completely transform the railway system of not just Carmarthenshire, but the whole of Wales.

“The current state of public transport in Carmarthenshire is unacceptable. One of our flagship services, the Heart of Wales line, has become infrequent and unreliable.

“If we could allocate some of this funding to our railways here in Carmarthenshire, we would have a public transport service fit for purpose.

“The costs of this project have reached astronomical levels, whilst we are told that there is not enough money to build a train station in St Clears, nor money for a line from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen. HS2 has consistently exposed how unfair the current system is, and I am committed to being a voice for all of Carmarthenshire who will fight for this funding.”

Her comments come after the revelation of the cost of the HS2 line – which comes after the northern leg of the project was scrapped – and after around 10 per cent of Wales’ bus routes were withdrawn or reduced last summer due to pressures n funding. Plaid Cymru say that the Confederation of Public Transport estimates a further 15-25 per cent of all bus routes in Wales will be at risk of cuts or alterations in the next year.