Welsh Conservatives have accused the Welsh Government of pushing a major transport announcement “through the back door” without proper scrutiny by Assembly Members.

 

It comes as the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy announced the four firms competing to run train services in Wales, and to create the South Wales Metro.

 

The announcement was made without a statement to AMs, who were also not allowed to attend a special media briefing by the Welsh Government yesterday.

 

Responding to the announcement, Welsh Conservative spokesman for the Economy – Russell George – said:

 

“It is hugely disappointing that an announcement of this significance has once again been pushed through the back door, offering Assembly Members no opportunity to scrutinise on behalf of the public.

 

“You cannot run government by press release. This is the biggest procurement exercise ever seen in Wales and once again Transport for Wales has been found wanting in terms of transparency.

“There are questions to be answered on whether this is truly  a ‘not-for-profit’ model, as there were no bids forthcoming from truly non-profit operators.

“It’s also disappointing that the Cabinet Secretary has u-turned on a commitment to establish Transport for Wales’ office in the Valleys, with the headquarters instead being located in the capital.

 

“There is cross-party consensus on the need to address Wales’ creaking transport infrastructure, and a will to work together to take this forward. That’s why it’s so disappointing that the Assembly has been bypassed in favour of a quick media hit.”

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