Growth Track 360 urges Chancellor to authorise rail investment in Mersey-Dee region, bringing benefits to England and Wales

14 February 2021

Local authority leaders from North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester in the Growth Track 360 partnership have urged the Chancellor to boost local rail investment in his Budget Statement on 3 March 2021.  
  • Prior to the Chancellor's Spending Review in November, Growth Track 360 had asked for a £20 million development fund to enable rapid progress with:
    North Wales Coast Main Line improvements including upgrading Shotton Station;
  • Wrexham to Liverpool Transformation including a new Deeside Parkway Station; and
  • Chester Station Modernisation (Chester City Gateway).
The Chancellor went on to launch the Levelling Up Fund which will provide seed-corn local infrastructure investment for England in £20 million lots.

In its new submission to the Chancellor, Growth Track 360 says it intends to apply to the Levelling Up Fund but believes that the cross-border nature of its priority rail schemes make direct action by the Chancellor the best way to get on with the necessary work quickly and bring rapid benefits in both England and Wales.

Growth Track 360 Chair - Councillor Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester said:

"Cheshire and the Wirral are situated at the western periphery of the North of England with important economic ties to North Wales. This means that the Mersey-Dee region can be overlooked in transport planning for the North of England which centres on the trans-Pennine corridor. We already make a big contribution to the UK economy and can do even more with the right investment now."

Growth Track 360 Vice Chair - Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire - said:

"The Mersey-Dee region is located in North Wales and is a high priority area for rail improvement by the Welsh Government. However, rail infrastructure investment is still a UK Government responsibility. This means we need the Chancellor to take the lead in empowering infrastructure investment on both sides of the border to realise economic benefits in Wales and England."
Chester Station Modernisation (Chester City Gateway).

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