A new campaign for rail investment in the North West and Wales, called Growth track 360, has launched today.
Business, political and public sector leaders formed the campaign to fight for £1bn in rail improvements for North Wales and Cheshire.
The goal is to create a link between Cheshire, the Wirral and North Wales that would connect with the High Speed 2 (HS2) line.
Growth track 360 believes that the investment could create 70,000 jobs in the region over a 20-year period.
Eight local authorities in the region support the scheme along with the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, the Mersey Dee Alliance, the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, the North Wales Business Council and the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce.
The Welsh Government’s economy and infrastructure secretary Ken Skates said: “Rail services are a key component of our transport modernisation programme across Wales. Our vision is for a faster, more frequent, integrated transport service which places the needs of the passenger at its heart.
“Connecting people to jobs and businesses to growth opportunities is a must if the economy of North Wales is to continue to grow and reach its undoubted potential. The Growth track 360 proposals set out a vision for rail in the region that unlocks the economic potential on both sides of the border.”
“It is vital that our region gets this investment if we are to attract inward investment and talent. We have economic and business assets of national and international significance but cannot make the most of these without a rail system which meets our needs for the future,” added Derek Butler, chairman of the Mersey Dee Alliance and cabinet member for economic development at Flintshire Council.
Growth track 360 demands:
- The electrification of the line from Crewe to North Wales so the region can be linked to HS2 and fast London trains can continue to Bangor and Holyhead
- Double the frequency of trains between the North Wales Coast Line and Wrexham to Manchester through Chester
- Investment in new, modern, better equipped rolling stock
- Create new services between Liverpool and Liverpool Airport to North Wales and Wrexham via Chester (Halton Curve)
- Double journey frequency between Wrexham and Liverpool via Deeside and Bidston.