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13 February 2017

Council to outline commitment to rail plans and re-affirm local aspirations

A far-ranging rail network improvement strategy, with the aim of improving links between North Wales and other regions of the UK, will be discussed by senior councillors tomorrow.

Growth Track 360, a prospectus drafted by a cross-border Rail Task Force made up of officials from North Wales and the Mersey Dee area, outlines a number of goals for the improvement of rail links to and from North Wales.

One of the chief aspirations set out in the document is for more frequent and faster rail journeys between North Wales and neighbouring areas, including the North West of England and the Midlands.

Growth Track 360 also outlines a number of infrastructure projects, including electrification, improved line speed, station investments and upgrades to transport hubs.  

The prospectus will be discussed at a meeting of the Executive Board tomorrow, with a report to members recommend that it be endorsed in principle.

Each of the local authorities in North Wales and the Mersey Dee area has been asked to support the document.

Members will also have the chance to re-affirm support for Wrexham’s local rail aspirations, including improved links to neighbouring areas such as Chester, Shrewsbury and Liverpool.”

Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member Environment and Transport, said: “This is a key document to support economic growth in Wales, and for Wrexham in particular. It’s key that this supports the work and lobbying we have undertaken to support rail growth.

“Our aspirations are very well set-out: we want 30 minute services to and from Wrexham to Chester, Shrewsbury and to Liverpool via Shotton, and key to this is the completion of the redoubling of track from Chester to Wrexham.

“The future of travel needs to focus on rail and the significant investment to make journeys faster with greater options for destinations to key locations and airports. We also have a new franchise being undertaken in Wales, and I hope the successful bidder puts more investment in the ageing rolling stock.”