Direct rail between Wrexham and Liverpool to return

Wrexham station Passengers travelling from Wrexham currently have to change trains before reaching Liverpool

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A direct rail link between north east Wales and Liverpool is to be restored, after being lost in the 1970s.

Chancellor George Osborne announced a £10m scheme to upgrade the Halton Curve rail line, linking Liverpool, Cheshire, Warrington and Wrexham.

The project is part of a £34m package to improve transport connections between Liverpool and Manchester.

Welsh Secretary David Jones said it showed ministers continued commitment to improving UK infrastructure.

He said the news would "enable an estimated 500,000 more people to access employment, educational and recreational opportunities".

"It will improve links to Liverpool John Lennon Airport and help stimulate further investment on both sides of the border," he said.

Economic links

"Today's announcement shows this government's continued commitment to improving our infrastructure across the United Kingdom, which is crucial to our long term economic plan."

Passengers from Wrexham currently have to change at Bidston or Chester.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the chancellor's announcement would be welcomed by all companies in north Wales doing business with Liverpool.

Its regional chair Gwyn Evans said: "Projects such as this, and the £44m upgrade of the rail line between Wrexham and Chester, will make a real difference.

"However, there is still some way to go to provide north Wales with the transport infrastructure needed to keep our economy on track."

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