North East Wales

£44m revised Wrexham to Chester rail project going ahead

Railway tracks
Image caption The works are expected to be completed by early 2015

A revised plan to upgrade the train line between Wrexham and Chester is to go ahead.

Transport Minister Edwina Hart told the Senedd the project would be going ahead following negotiations with Network Rail.

In March 2012 a £36m plan was announced to redouble seven miles of the track.

The current scheme will cost £44m, and will see parts of the track redoubled and speed improvements, cutting north-south journey times by 16 minutes.

The work is scheduled to be completed by 2015.

The programme also includes improvements to the Shrewsbury-Gobowen line and work on Anglesey.

Mrs Hart said: "I am pleased that we have been able to agree a scheme that will reduce journey times between north and south Wales and delivery increased capacity between Wrexham and Chester.

"This new scheme will meet our objectives and provide value for money.

"It will ensure more people in north east Wales will be able to benefit from the improved rail links to the rest of Wales delivered by the Welsh Government."

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas called the news a "real vote of confidence" in Wrexham.

Aled Roberts AM said: "This is excellent news for the region and comes as a result of sustained pressure on the minister to make sure that the proposals for rail improvements went ahead as planned.

"The recent talk of a review caused a great deal of concern over whether the scheme would go ahead, but I am delighted with today's news.

Wrexham council leader Neil Rogers said the investment was long overdue and would provide a welcome boost to the local economy.

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