The electrification of the railway into Swansea isn't going ahead because no one will actually enter Neath to spend any time working on the tracks, it has emerged.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling made the uncharacteristically honest announcement while sat on a train carriage that the public had been banned from entering while he was there.

Downing Street spokesperson Pete Bowen said: "Chris didn't realise the microphone was still on, otherwise no one would know that Neath is the thorny issue for us.

"Electrifying the track into Swansea would've cost £500m, but by the time we paid the ransoms demanded by workers to actually spend time on the Neath section, it would cost us £900m.

"I'm not saying Bridgend is much better, but you're close enough to Cardiff to re-enter some normality there. Once you pass Pyle it's not just downhill, it's a terrifying vertical drop into the abyss."

Neath resident Pete Bowen said: "I was hoping the electrification would go ahead because I could've nicked the electricity line for the house.

"No one in Neath knows who pays the electricity bill, Trade Centre Wales maybe?"

Tory Bowen added: "I was as surprised as anyone that Neath had electricity anyway. I'm still not 100% that they do. What's a Neath anyway?

"Either way it's not happening now, so if I was Swansea I'd be looking over your shoulder at what Llanelli are doing, they've discovered coal and everything."

photo credit: Rhydgaled <a href="">Swanline Single</a> via <a href="">photopin</a&gt; <a href="">(license)</a&gt;