Wales politics

North Wales transport systems 'creaking', says MP

North Wales needs a "modern transport system" for economic growth, Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami has said.

Describing current infrastructure as "creaking at the seams", he called for a network geared to jobs investment.

He said electrifying the Wrexham to Bidston rail line, linking the region with Merseyside, would be "ideal".

Wales Office deputy minister Stephen Crabb welcomed the debate, describing north Wales as the "jewel in the Welsh economy".

Labour MP Mr Tami was leading a Westminster Hall debate - where MPs raise an issue they want to highlight - on transport in north Wales.

The region currently accounts for 30% of Wales' manufacturing output, and Mr Tami highlighted to MPs the opportunities available to attract big companies.

These, he said, could bring "long term investment in buildings and staff" but the transport infrastructure would need to be in place in order to secure their presence.

He cited the electrification of the Wrexham to Bidston line as "an ideal solution to many of the transport problems", as the frequency and reliability of the current service was "not what your average commuter wants".

'Perfectly good'

An improvement to bus services was also "key", he told MPS, with a need for a "more co-ordinated approach and improved cross-border links".

Although there have been calls for a new airport in Broughton, Mr Tami believed that it would be better to improve connectivity to the "two perfectly good airports at Manchester and Liverpool".

Mr Crabb confirmed that his office was currently discussing with the Department for Transport and the Welsh government the issue of electrifying the Wrexham to Bidston line.

He also used the opportunity to highlight what he said were the benefits that HS2 - the planned high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham - would bring to the area.

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