After the Autumn Statement last week we learnt that years of campaigning have finally paid off. North Wales will start to see long overdue investment into its transport network.
The most notable investment is the opening of the Halton Curve link, which will create direct regular services between North Wales and Liverpool for the first time in decades. I and other local pressure groups have been pushing for the opening of the Halton Curve so that Flintshire could benefit from business growth in Liverpool.
The West Coast Mainline will also see improvements such as:
• Two extra trains per hour (off peak, each direction) between London and North West;
• One additional fast train per hour (each direction) between Manchester and Birmingham;
• One overnight freight train per hour (each direction) through Stafford.
These investments to North Wales are long overdue and have only come about due to endless campaigning by local residents and MPs in the North East of Wales.
The Halton Curve will bring about inward investment to Flintshire, as our service sector will be able to grow with the increased business links to Liverpool. North Wales is an untapped resource with skilled and dedicated workers who will benefit tremendously from this investment.
However, I will not rest on my laurels. There is still much more that is needed to be done by the government to ensure that the potential of North Wales is not lost in the rush to build the ‘northern powerhouse’. We still need electrification of the rail to move us on from the dirty and unreliable diesel locomotives that we currently have to put up with.