NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Oct 10th, 2014.
Aled Roberts, the Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, is calling for the £10 million transport investment in North Wales – secured in the recent Liberal Democrat Budget Deal with the Welsh Government – to be used to increase rail capacity between Wrexham and Chester.
“Only two thirds of the line is being doubled at the moment,” commented Mr Roberts. “The Welsh Government removed the other third when they revised the scheme to dual the line between Wrexham and Chester.”
“The original scheme would have provided 6 extra trains per hour to provide commuter trains between Wrexham and Chester together with capacity to provide direct links with Liverpool and Manchester and increased frequency with Cardiff and Birmingham.
“I discovered that the revised £44 million scheme, which took out re-dualling between Rossett and Wrexham, only provides one extra train path per two hours which has already been committed to a Cardiff service.
“The only benefit provided by the Welsh Labour Government therefore is a reduction in North Wales’ journey times of some 6 minutes.
“They have failed to improve connectivity with areas of employment opportunity in England’s North West and on Deeside.
“At the same time I have also discovered that the increase in passenger numbers through Wrexham following the opening of the prison has not been factored into Welsh Government plans for the line.
“It beggars belief that there has been so little forward planning. The Government has invested £44m in a scene which brings very little extra capacity.
“That is why we insisted on a £10m transport investment in North Wales as part of the Budget negotiations.
“We will ensure that the £10m is spent in a way which will bring real benefits to the rail passengers of North Wales.”