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Plea for cash to develop North Wales rail hubs

Network Rail

Leaders from the private and public sectors across North Wales and the north west are calling for investment to develop rail hubs throughout the region.

The West and Wales Strategic Rail Prospectus, published today, called for investment in the strategic rail hubs of Crewe, Warrington, Manchester Airport and Chester for HS2 to fulfil its true potential.

It said 300,000 new jobs could be created, house building and productivity would be boosted, and cars would be taken off the road as a result of the investment.

In particular it said a rail hub at Crewe was required. It called for five to seven fast trains an hour and frequent local services on lines that converge on Crewe, bringing 1.5M people over an hour closer to London.

The prospectus specifically calls for the government to: 

  • Work in collaboration to enable rail to support the delivery of growth
  • Provide kick-start funding for feasibility and business case development
  • Support the delivery of identified solutions for rail services and infrastructure
  • Help to develop and implement improved processes within the rail industry which enable schemes to be developed and delivered more cost effectively
  • Recognise and support the “4 hub” concept – targeted investment in the area’s four key rail hubs and across North Wales, Cheshire and Warrington – in extending the benefits of HS2 to a wider area.

The body behind the report is made up of a collaboration of public and private sector leaders from Cheshire West and Chester, North Wales, Warrington and Cheshire East, and has the backing of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester.

It said the work supported Transport for the North’s (TfN) wider plans to transform economic and transport growth.

TfN interim northern powerhouse rail director Tim Wood said: “Improving rail connections, for people and goods, between the economically important areas of Cheshire, North Wales, and the Liverpool City Region is a key priority for Transport for the North, as set out in our draft Strategic Transport Plan.

“This prospectus is an exemplar of how collaboration locally and across the whole of the North is already underway to ensure that we are driving sustainable economic growth and securing critical investment across the West and Wales area, as well as the wider North of England.”

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