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Business and local authority leaders from North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester in the Growth Track 360 partnership have written to Sir Peter Hendy urging him to make cross-border rail connectivity a key feature of the final report from his Union Connectivity Review.
The review will look at how to boost transport infrastructure throughout Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England via road, rail and air, and across the Irish Sea.
Growth Track 360 has emphasised the importance of improving connectivity between North Wales and North West England.
The group's original purpose was to secure electrification of the North Wales main line railway from Holyhead to Chester and then onwards to Crewe and Warrington.
In recent years, its work has expanded to seek investment in improving cross-border transport infrastructure more widely to accelerate growth in the existing regional powerhouse economy.
Vice chair and Flintshire Council leader councillor Ian Roberts said the group "awaits with keen interest" the Union Connectivity Review final report, which is due this summer.
"In the meantime, Flintshire Council with the support of partners in Growth Track 360 has made an early application to the UK Levelling Up Fund for investment in key infrastructure interventions on the Wrexham-Liverpool line via Bidston," he said.
"These will facilitate increased passenger train service frequencies, higher line speeds and greater reliability as well as enhanced efficiency of freight operations."
Chair and Cheshire West and Chester Council leader councillor Louise Gittins emphasised the need to improve transport links.
“We were especially interested in the commitment by the UK Government of £20M towards exploring the development of four projects in the UK, one of which was ‘improved rail connectivity between the north coast of Wales and England," she said.
"This welcome news went to the heart of our original purpose, so we would like to understand how the new funding will link with development work already undertaken by our partners including Network Rail and Transport for Wales.”
Various groups have put forward ideas for key transport links to inform the review.
This article first appeared on www.newcivilengineer.com
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