Posted: Fri 5th Mar 2021

Flintshire MS calls on community to unite against axing of cross-border rail services

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 5th, 2021

With less than one week to go, Hannah Blythyn MS is calling on the community to ensure their voices are heard, by responding to a consultation on the future of rail services between North Wales and Manchester Airport,

The Manchester Recovery Task Force is running a public consultation until March 10th to alter passenger and freight timetables, to try and improve the performance of the rail network in and around Manchester.

Two of the three options being consulted on include the removal of direct Transport for Wales services, between North Wales and Manchester. These changes would then result in increased journey times for commuters from North Wales.

Ms Blythyn is joining the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, to encourage communities across North Wales to respond to the consultation.

In her response, the Delyn MS said:

“Options A and C are nothing but detrimental to the people of North Wales, who regularly make use of rail services and have long enjoyed close links with Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly.

The issue here is not timetabling, but a historic underfunding of rail services in our corner of the country by the UK Government.

We must retain these links and continue to push for further investment in the region, and I will be calling on communities across North Wales to throw their support behind Option B.”

Since being elected in 2016 Ms Blythyn has pushed for improved rail infrastructure across North Wales.

The Delyn MS has worked with residents in the Holywell area, to engage with the Welsh Government and Flintshire County Council to explore the possibility of a new station in the Greenfield area.

After introducing the group to the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates MS, Ms Blythyn pushed for the Welsh Government to undertake a feasibility study for a new station, and discussions are now taking place on potential plans.

Ms Blythyn added:

“At the end of last year we saw research which suggested that over the next nine years, Welsh railways will be underfunded by over £2.4 billion, under current spending plans from the UK Government,

I have worked with the Welsh Government to have a feasibility study carried out, but we need the UK Government to step up and discuss funding for a project of this scale.”

Responsibility for the railways remains with the UK Government, however statistics have shown that despite having around 11% of rail track here in Wales, only 2% of spending on infrastructure improvements comes to Wales.

Ms Blythyn is encouraging constituents to add their name to her letter, backing “Option B” which will be sent in response to the consultation before the deadline of Wednesday 10 March.

Those interested can add their name at www.hannahblythyn.cymru/back-option-b

Alternatively, the full consultation can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/timetable-options-to-improve-rail-performance-in-the-north-of-england

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