Wales politics

'£260m cost' if north Wales rail line not electrified

Arriva Trains Wales train at Bangor, Gwynedd station
Image caption Stations such as Bangor would benefit from the upgrade demanded by the transport minister

Failure to electrify the main railway line through north Wales could cost the Welsh economy £260m, the transport minister has said.

Edwina Hart said it could also cost the English economy £210m if any Crewe-to-Chester upgrade stopped at the border.

A case for north Wales will be sent to the UK Department for Transport.

It follows a report from a north Wales transport task force which also calls for improvements to the Menai Bridge and the A494/A55 corridors.

Modernising the north Wales coast line between Holyhead and Chester was an idea mentioned in Network Rail's 30-year plan for Wales, published earlier in March, but the study said electrification would be "poor value for money".

The line between London Euston and Crewe is already electrified, and the plan said upgrading the line between Crewe and Chester would be "high value for money".

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