CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has welcomed news that a special task force is to be set up to improve cross-border transport in North East Wales.
On Wednesday the Transport Minister Carl Sargeant set out plans to put together a business case for electrification of the North Wales Coast rail line and he also announced the creation of a new group to look at the development of integrated transport in North East Wales.
The task force will examine possible improvements to the Wrexham to Bidston rail line as well as other road and rail routes to and from Wrexham, Manchester and Liverpool.
CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES said:
“I warmly welcome the Transport Minister’s announcement that a new Task Force is to be set up to look at cross-border road and rail improvements in North East Wales.
“The plan is to build on the previous work done by Taith and the North East Wales Area Based Transport Study to develop more effective cross-border links with economic centres just over the border.
“The debate should not simply be focused on electrifying the North Wales Coast line from Holyhead to Crewe. The Wrexham to Bidston line, the rail route from Wrexham to Chester, and the rail line from Chester to Warrington Bank Quay are other vital upgrades we need to push forward with.
“The Minister has said the task force will look at how to target Welsh Government funding on important road and rail schemes, identify other funding sources that can be levered in and find ways to make money go further through service improvements.
“Developing and integrated transport network that links across the border and into the wider economic region is absolutely vital. The task force needs to be a collaborative effort between politicians, regional transport consortia and local businesses to build a strong business case for future investment in our infrastructure.
“Focusing our attention on improvements to the capacity and reliability of the main east-west road and rail corridors in North East Wales will reap big benefits for the local economy. We have a big manufacturing sector in the region and they will need an input into the group to ensure the changes and modernisation plans meet their needs.”