NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Aug 22nd, 2013.
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones is in Deeside today to discuss the economic case for Wrexham to Bidston railway electrification.
Mr Jones welcomed members of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board , along with representatives of the Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership and the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone to the roundtable meeting at Deeside Enterprise Zone, to gather views on how improving the rail links between enterprise zones in north east Wales and north west England could benefit the local economy.
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones said:
“The Government takes the firm view that improving Britain’s infrastructure is vitally important to delivering long-term, balanced economic growth across the country”
“In north Wales, the economic potential of electrification is significant. Together, Deeside and Wrexham make up one of the most important industrial areas in Europe and, regardless of borders, north east Wales and north west England form one single economic entity. The designation of Deeside and Wirral Waters as Enterprise Zones makes improving connectivity between the two areas more pressing than ever”
Mr Jones added:
“I am happy to say that work on the business case for further electrification is now well underway. The views and insight I’ve received today will help bolster that case as we continue to put the components in place to make Wales an easier, more attractive place to invest”
Proposals already exist to electrify all of the line with incorporation into the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network, which would allow through services to the underground sections of Birkenhead and Liverpool and onwards to Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
New stations at Deeside Industrial Park, Woodchurch and Beechwood were in the proposal.
In August 2006 it was announced there would be a feasibility study into the third-rail electrification of the line.
Alison McGovern, Labour MP for Wirral South said in January
“I welcome the Government’s commitment to work with the Labour Welsh Government.
There has been a long, hard fought campaign to get improvements to this line, and whilst electrification will not happen overnight, and may still take another 10-15 years, this is a positive step”
Wales is already set to benefit directly and indirectly by almost £2 billion from the UK Government programme to modernise the rail network. When it is completed, nearly two thirds of the population of Wales will have access to faster, cleaner, greener train services.
Image courtesy of flickr