THE Welsh Government has been accused of "betraying" the people of the South Wales Valleys after it was claimed plans to electrify the rail line between Ebbw Vale and Cardiff have been scrapped.

Responsibility for running the planned South Wales Metro and associated infrastructure work is included in the new Wales and Borders franchise, set to begin in October.

But, speaking in the Assembly earlier this week, Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price pointed to a report by Transport for Wales which he said showed electrification of the line between Ebbw Vale and Cardiff, part of the Metro scheme, had been cancelled in favour of a new service to Cardiff Bay.

Addressing economy and infrastructure secretary Ken Skates, the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM said: "You're getting £125 million to spend on the Metro from the UK Government.

"When you asked for it, your government promised it would be for the electrification of the entire Valleys lines network.

"You're now cancelling that, in just the same way as the UK Government did with electrification to Swansea, while continuing to spend on a bullet train for the bay.

"The Conservative government were rightly accused of selling out on people who live to the west of Cardiff.

"Isn't the Labour government now doing exactly the same to people who live in the Valleys to the north?"

But, saying “this is not correct”, Mr Skates said the Welsh Government "remain absolutely committed to upgrading the core Valleys lines".

He added he would not be able to confirm the full extent of the work until the contract had been awarded.

“What counts most is that passengers see a vast improvement in the services that are delivered to them,” he said.

“In terms of electrification, we cannot say, until the award has been made, what the specific solutions are for each and every one of those lines that are contained within the Metro area.

“It's therefore premature to assume that electrification of the entire Valleys lines is not included in any of the bids.

“I cannot divulge what is in the bids, but it is simply not possible to speculate over what is in there at present.”

Arriva Trains Wales, which currently runs the service, Abellio Rail Cymru, KeolisAmey and MTR Corporation, had originally put in bids to run the contract, which will be awarded in the coming months. But Arriva dropped out in October last year and last month Abellio announced it was also pulling out of the running following the collapse of construction giant Carillion.

Speaking afterwards, Plaid Cymru South Wales East AM Steffan Lewis said: "The people of Ebbw Vale will rightly question the Labour Welsh Government's sense of priorities when they learn that the electrification of the Ebbw Vale line has been cancelled, but they intend to build a light-rail service between Cathays Park and Cardiff Bay - proposals which seem to be nothing more than a metro line for ministers.

"The decision to cancel this project is a betrayal by the Welsh Government."