.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Moldova, Albania and the Estonian Republic

I note that Labour and Plaid Cymru politicians have adopted a new line of attack over the delay in announcing a timetable for the electrification of the main line railway from London to Swansea. They are arguing that Wales is one of the only countries in Europe not to have any electrified rail track along with Moldova and Albania.

There are of course good historical reasons for this including the fact that most of Europe's infrastructure was rebuilt after the Second World War, whereas in the UK we have embarked on piecemeal modernisation. It is also the case of course that Labour had 13 years to electrify the mainline but did not do so, even though Gordon Brown announced in 2009 that work would start immediately.

There was of course no budget and no business plan to do this work and as a result the UK Government has had to do a lot more work to get it up to speed. Labour's insistence that a business plan does exist is proving hard to verify, with the document taking on the same mythical status as all the private sector bids that Swansea Council allegedly received in 2003/2004 to rebuild its leisure centre. The balance of probabilities has to be that none of these plans actual exist.

Two can play at that game though, as a look at broadband provision across Europe will prove. Estonia for example plans to build a new broadband network that will provide high-speed Internet access to homes and businesses throughout the small Baltic country by 2015. The $500 million project will create a network that will cover all homes and offices in the nation of 1.3 million, with more than 4,100 miles of fiber-optic cable. It will allow users to surf the Internet at speeds of up to 100 megabits per second..

The government will cover 25 percent of the project's costs with money from European Union structural funds. The rest will be financed by private telecom companies. By comparison, here in Wales 43% of Welsh households are now signed up for a broadband service, only 26% of which have speeds faster than 1 megabit.

The reason for this is that the Welsh Government failed to include broadband in its structural fund bid, believing that it was not eligible. I don't see many opposition politicians shouting about that comparison.
Sorry, but just to be clear, wales was eligible to apply to structure funds for funding towards broadband but failed to do so under the false belief that wales was not eligible? Would be really interested in hearing more about this...
Your government delaying electrification.

Your government refuse to have wales as a pilot scheme for high speed broadband.

Your government thinks Wales is serviced because Hereford is close!

Shocking Peter
Let's have a reality check here Jason. Even under Labour there would have been this delay in electrification. You should not pretend otherwise. Putting aside the promise to start in 2009, which they broke, it is physically impossible to get it past Reading until the modification works there have been completed and the rolling stock needs to be bought as well to make it worthwhile. If Labour had provided a budget and a business plan then I would have expected an announcement earlier, but they didn't.

As for the high speed broadband pilot then it is clear that the Welsh Government's application was sub-standard. They use that reason to deny funding to others, I do not see why it is not a legitimate reason as to why they missed out.

Of course if Labour had got their EU funding package right in 2006 then it would have been academic anyway, but they didnt and as a result Wales is losing out once more.

That is shocking!

As for the Government Minister who thinks Hereford is in Wales, he is out-of-touch. No other description does it.
I suppose that compairing Wales with Maldova, Albania and Estonia is better than compairing Wales to Rwanda, which a former Welsh Secretary did!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?