A new campaign by the North Wales and Mersey Dee (NW&MD) Rail Task Force has been launched in the UK to ensure £1bn of rail improvements aimed to transform the economy of North Wales, Wirral, and Cheshire regions.
As well as creating 70,000 new jobs over 20 years, the new campaign named Growth track 360 is being led by a cross-border alliance of business, political, and public sector leaders.
Cheshire West and Chester Council's leader Samantha Dixon said: “This investment is essential if we are to create opportunities for generations to come."
Welsh Government economy and infrastructure secretary Ken Skates said: “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, which unlocks the economic potential on both sides of the border.”
New developments in the rail sector of different UK regions will help them connect with the planned High Speed Two (HS2) line, which runs between London and the north of England.
Work included in the campaign will involve electrification of the line running from Crewe to North Wales, doubling of train frequency operating from the North Wales Coast Line and Wrexham to Manchester through Chester, and investment in new and upgraded rolling stock.
New services between Liverpool and Liverpool Airport to North Wales and Wrexham through Chester (Halton Curve) have also been proposed, as well as the doubling of service frequencies between Wrexham and Liverpool through Deeside and Bidston.
Growth track 360 also includes proposals for upgrading facilities and capacity at stations, launching new smart ticketing system, as well as improving services and upgrades to signalling and line speeds.
Execution of the rail improvements is expected to increase the economy across the North Wales and Mersey Dee region so that the gross value added (GVA) grows to £50.5bn over next 20 years.
Image: A new campaign Growth track 360 has been launched for new UK rail improvement projects. Photo: courtesy of Jon Brown / Influential.