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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One step closer to rail electrification

The Minister with responsibility for Transport, Carl Sargeant, has announced that the Welsh Government, working in collaboration with the regional transport consortium, Taith, is to develop a business case for the electrification of the North Wales line.
The Minister has confirmed that a robust business case will be developed that will capture the full social, economic and environmental benefits for north Wales.

The business plan for modernisation will build on previous work done to date, including the important North East Wales Area Based Transport Study.

Carl Sargeant said: “I want to see North Wales properly connected to the UK electric infrastructure, with effective cross-border links.

“I want to see rail operations across Wales developed to achieve enhanced services with efficiency savings leading to a fairer deal for passengers and taxpayers.

“Our prioritised National Transport Plan recognises that transport is an enabler for many aspects of the Welsh economy and we will continue to focus on improving the capacity and reliability of the main east-west road and rail corridors in Wales.

“Modernising the North Wales rail line is a key element of this ambition and has the potential of greatly improving the rail services and unlocking economic growth for the region, which will in turn help tackle poverty.”

In addition to the North Wales Coast Main Line (from Holyhead to Crewe), consideration will be given to the rail network in north-east Wales (including the Wrexham to Bidston line, the line from Wrexham to Chester, and the line from Chester to Warrington Bank Quay) in order to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits to the region resulting from modernisation.

Work now begins on establishing the strategic case for investment, which will define the scope, objectives, benefits and long-list of options for the project. This in turn will lead on to a robust case for change, which will be complete this summer.

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