I welcome the news announced by the UK Government to support the Crewe Hub vision, and to that end plans for HS2 Phase 2a will be modified to include:
• Provision of 400m platforms, extending Platform 5, to allow for the splitting and joining of HS2 services, which also opens opportunities to serve Stoke-On-Trent via HS2;
• A more efficient design for the proposed design for the proposed platform on the Manchester independent lines, incorporating a transfer deck to the main station; and
• A change to the design of the southern connection from HS2, so that HS2 joins (and takes over) the central two lines on the existing network. Read more “HS2 Crewe Hub”
The Transport Secretary made an announcement today that Stagecoach could no longer run the East Coast Mainline – which they deliver in partnership with Virgin. The Government will now have to step in to take action and ensure that passenger journeys are not disrupted.
But I wanted to raise questions over the future of the West Coast Mainline. In particular I pointed out to the Secretary of State that if he ran he could catch the 6.10 train to Flint from Euston and it would cost him an eye-watering £283 for a return ticket. I wanted to know if he believed a new ticket under the next franchise will be the same price or possibly lower.
He stated that it was merely a last minute fare that meant the prices were high. But it still costs over £80 for an advanced fare. Hardly an affordable rate. A serious conversation is needed on the future of our railways to ensure that customers get the best deal.
I welcome the news from Virgin Trains that they are investigating the possibility of more trains stopping at Flint on its London Euston to Holyhead route.
This comes following lobbying by myself for more trains to service Delyn.
In a letter from Virgin Trains, I was informed that they:
“…are exploring the possibility of adding Flint as a calling point on the 18.10 service from London Euston. The earliest this change could be implemented is the December 2018 Timetable changes.”
I am pleased to hear that Virgin Trains are considering adding an additional service to Delyn. As we only have one train station it is important that we can build upon the number of trains stopping in Flint. I continually work to press Virgin Trains to increase their services to our town as we deserve to be well-connected with London, Holyhead and have fast access to hub stations such as Crewe.
If this goes ahead it will be an excellent boost to our local economy. Not only will it mean that Flint will only be little over two hours from London – helping businesses forge strong links with the capital – but it will ensure that Flint can become the gateway station to North Wales. I know that many businesses are taking advantage of our links to the railway network and I want to help them build upon that. The stronger these businesses can become the more decent jobs they can provide.
This builds upon the work I am doing with Holywell Town Council to see a new station opened for Holywell and Greenfield. It is clear that the more interconnected our towns and villages the more they can thrive. I will keep pressing for more investment so that Delyn residents can benefit.
I have co-signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, with MPs from North East Wales, Cheshire and beyond calling on Crewe to be made a hub train station when HS2 is completed.
Stakeholders across our region are agreed that we need Crewe to be a hub on the HS2 network that can provide good regional connectivity to North Wales, Cheshire and neighbouring counties. In order to function effectively as a hub and deliver 360 degree connectivity, the end solution must deliver the right frequency and extent of HS2 services, provide good cross platform connections for local services to HS2, and not result in any constrained capacity for classic train services to access and use the existing station.
In the view of all those that signed the letter, the proposals that we understand to have been under consideration fall short of being able to achieve these outcomes. We fear that unless the right solution is put in place now, as part of the once-in-a-generation investment that HS2 represents, our region will continue to under-perform for decades to come. Read more “HS2 and Delyn”