Mid and north Wales is missing out on big business as the regions’ rail lines lack capacity to carry freight, it has been claimed.

There have been calls for big investments in lines outside of south Wales to help develop industry and tackle climate change.

Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS Mabon ap Gwynfor has demanded money be spent on rail infrastructure.

Despite mid and north Wales having rail lines running from east to west and north to south from Pwllheli to Aberystwyth, as well as a line from the coast to Blaenau Ffestiniog, there is no capacity for loading and off-loading freight at what are called intermodal terminals.

Mabon ap Gwynfor, said: “People in the industry have contacted me highlighting the fact that the north and mid Wales lines have not got the infrastructure in place in order to transport freight.

“When you consider the slate, the stone, the wood and other products that we produce in north and mid Wales.

“It seems odd that we haven’t got the ability to transport freight on rail lines which would be environmentally better, which would improve the economy, and incidentally support local road freight.

“We need to look at the possibility of developing intermodal terminals for us to transport freight in mid and north Wales which boost the economy."

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Rail freight plays a big role in the running of the economy across the UK.

Every year, freight trains transport goods worth about £30bn – everything from televisions, clothes, whisky and Christmas decorations to construction materials, steel, cars and waste paper.

One in four sea containers arriving at UK ports is carried inland by rail

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The UK Government retains responsibility for rail infrastructure, with Network Rail owning and operating the network (apart from the Core Valley Lines) on its behalf.

“However, we have set out strongly the case for full devolution of responsibility for rail, accompanied by a full and fair funding allocation to enable us to deliver on our own rail priorities including the development of the north Wales Metro, which will improve capacity, capability and journey times for both passenger and freight services.

“We continue to make available the freight facilities grant scheme where funding is available to help eligible rail freight operators to invest in facilities where there are environmental benefits from removing lorry journeys. We are currently working with two businesses in north Wales to improve facilities which will enable new or increased rail freight services.”

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