I have called on the UK Transport Minister to extend the services from Liverpool Lime Street to the North Wales coast following the reopening of the Halton Curve.
The investment in the Halton Curve, worth £16m, means that rail services from Liverpool Lime Street to Wrexham will reopen a direct service for the first time in decades. The Curve may only be 1.5miles of track, but it ensures that there is a link between the Chester/Warrington Line with the Liverpool/Crewe Line at Frodsham Junction.
Before the investment in the track there was only one scheduled service a week during the summer, but the new investment – which I have campaigned for for many years – means that there will be an hourly service in both directions between Liverpool and Chester.
The extension of the service to Chester has been estimated to take 170,000 car journeys off the road, generate 250,000 new trips and boost the economies of Liverpool and Chester by £100m.
During Transport Question Time, on 21 March 2019, Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport stated:
“I will most certainly investigate the question raised by the Rt. Hon. Gentleman. The £16million investment in the Halton Curve has enabled that new hourly direct service between Lime Street and Chester, therefore making it easier for constituents he serves and other across North Wales to travel. So, I will see what we can do to make that easier.”
I will now write to the Minister to ensure that new services can be extended to Flint and other North Wales stations to Liverpool.
The investment to the Halton Curve was long fought for, but I am pleased to see that the £16million of investment is reconnecting North Wales to Liverpool. However, much more can be done. Linking Wrexham back to Liverpool is an important first step but we now need to see the whole of the North Wales linked back up to Liverpool.
Reopening the Curve back to Chester is expected to reduce the number of cars on the roads by 170,000 and boost the local economy of Chester and Liverpool by £100million. This is fantastic news for our region, both for our economy and environment. It is now time for Flint to benefit from this investment.
I will be writing to the Minister to ask for a more in-depth response. I hope that he will meet my expectations and ensure that North Wales has a decent railway service to Liverpool once more.