North Wales Metro 1 Sep 21
Short-term plans include two new stations. Credit: Welsh Government

North Wales Metro plans gather pace

Neil Tague

Progress on the enhancement of rail services across North Wales has been underlined with new images released of the project.

In March, the Welsh Government committed £9m to North Wales Metro. The images released this month show priorities up until 2029 which include major enhancements at popular stations, the creation of three new stations, at Broughton, Deeside and Greenfield, and frequency enhancements all the way from Bangor to Wrexham.

The second image, shown below, captures more ambitious, long term projects including electrification from Holyhead right across to Chester and extensions to west Wales and to the north of Anglesey.

Projects that will benefit from funding this year including:

  • £4.8m for bus enhancements including information screens across the Traws Cymru network, refurbishment of Bangor bus station, and new fflecsi schemes
  • £2.7m for improvements at train stations including Wrexham, and accessibility improvements
  • more than £1m to look at ways of improving connectivity between Wrexham and Liverpool
  • more than £1m for the Snowdonia Transport Strategy which aims to encourage park and ride, bus and active travel in the National Park
  • £1.5m to develop an integrated station at Shotton
  • £670,000 towards the development of Deeside Parkway
  • £900,000 towards a study of the north Wales coast mainline, with a view to improve journey times
  • £250,000 to support the roll-out of integrated ticketing on buses.

Lee Waters, deputy minister for climate change at the Welsh Government, said: “In North Wales, we have put in place the foundations for transformative rail and bus services and active travel.

“Alongside reducing rural isolation and opening up job, business and leisure opportunities across North Wales, these plans will also play a vital part in developing the region’s wider economy.”

The Welsh Government’s target is that 45% of journeys should be made by public transport or active travel by 2040.

Visiting Wrexham last week, Waters examined progress at the Wrexham Gateway – the WG is putting £25m into what is one of the region’s largest station-area projects.  Other partners include Wrexham Council and Wrexham Glyndŵr University in collaboration with Transport for Wales and the ambitiously-expanding Wrexham AFC.

North Wales Metro 2 Sep 21

Better connectivity on Anglesey is key to long-term thinking. Credit: Welsh Govenment

Your Comments

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Connectivity through to Liverpool is key. A brilliant scheme that will build on an historic and mutually beneficial regional relationship.

By LEighteen

I travelled in this region last week for the first time in a while, and the gap between trains from Chester to Wrexham was pretty striking, particularly on a day where Wrexham AFC were playing a high-profile game at home and there was racing at Chester, as well as a lot of events in Manchester that people from North Wales were travelling to via Chester

By Salfordian

Certainly would like this to include dual tracking of the Halton Curve so frequency both to and from Liverpool and North Wales improves, which will also allow faster access to Liverpool Airport.
In addition there should be direct services via Shotton, Heswall and Bidston into Liverpool, with the expected dual battery/electric powered trains.
North Wales and Liverpool have had their traditional transport links run down for decades, and these plans will help to reverse that.

By Anonymous

When all the Wrexham trains turn up at Chester 5 minutes after the main connections leave, and arrive home again with a 55 minute wait to go onwards we’re still never going to be catching one and all just driving…

By Stuart M

The new Deeside Parkway station will come into its own, if it can be incorporated into the Merseyrail system with trains running direct into the Liverpool underground loop. With a couple of new stations on the Wirral as well, the Wrexham to Liverpool service has the same potential as Liverpool to Chester (i.e. fifteen-minute frequency).

By Trevor Skempton

Good to know that the Welsh Government is investing in North Wales rail network. But to take advantage of HS2, North Wales and Cheshire really need electrified access to Crewe. Cheshire and North Wales should work together on pressing for this.

I would definitely agree with comment by Anonymous and would like to see full potential of the Halton Curve route dualled with perhaps if not a 20 minute frequency maybe half hourly from Chester , one from the North Wales Coast and one from Wrexham line giving a regular service during the day to Parkway/ John Lennon Airport( bus connection I know) and perhaps a odd service or two between 23.00 and 06.00 for late and early flights. Very sad that if similar was desirable in the South East it would happen. The technology and potential is available just the slow pace and funding being the problem. Plans for the future commendable but why does it all have to take so long? Perhaps as in 1963 the same party UK government of the day did not believe North Wales needed or indeed deserved a proper railway service.

By Brian Desmond

The Coastal route needs to be part of Northern Power Rail, Holyhead to Hull.

By JB