Growth Track 360 seeks support from UK parliamentarians for ‘Low Carbon Transport’ to support transformation of North Wales, Cheshire and Liverpool City Region into ‘Low Carbon Economy’
As UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt MP prepares his Budget statement for announcement on 15 March, business and local authority leaders in the Growth Track 360 partnership have called in person at the UK Parliament for substantial rail investment to transform the economy of the cross-border region embracing North Wales, Cheshire and Liverpool City Region.
In multiple submissions to the UK Government, Growth Track 360 has previously made the case for three key projects:
- Wrexham to Liverpool Transformation: Twenty-First Century Travel in a Corridor of World Class Industries;
- North Wales Coast Mainline: Developing Low Carbon Energy and Expanding Overseas and British Tourism Sustainably in an Area of Extraordinary Beauty; and
- Chester Station Modernisation: A Millennial Gateway for a City of Millennia.
Despite substantial progress in the business case development of these crucial investments by Transport for Wales and Network Rail, there are as yet no formally allocated capital funds.
In a presentation to Members of Parliament and the House of Lords in the Houses of Parliament, Growth Track 360 pointed out that the wider North Wales and Mersey Dee region hosts 63,000 manufacturing jobs, generates £11.4 billion in exports annually and welcomes 77.6 million visitors every year but remains far too heavily dependent on high emission road transport for people and goods.
Urging parliamentarians to press the UK Government for investment in its existing three key projects, Growth Track 360 also pointed to the opportunities for much greater rail connectivity for Chester and North Wales that will become feasible when HS2 reaches Crewe. GT360 asked the region’s Members of Parliament and Peers to do all that they can to obtain investment at Crewe for improved passenger interchange for frequent HS2 services.
Leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council and Chair of Growth Track 360, Councillor Louise Gittins, said:
“The UK has every chance to be one of the world’s leading nations in the transition to Net Zero and many of the key enabling industries are located right here in the North Wales and Mersey Dee cross-border region. To end the gridlock in our own local transport system and increase connectivity with the rest of the UK and the wider world economy, it’s time for the UK Government to step forward with the rail investment we need.”
Leader of Flintshire Council and Vice Chair of Growth Track 360, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:
“Civic and business leaders in North Wales and neighbouring communities in North West England at today’s event in Westminster found that our vision is increasingly being shared across the main UK political parties. We need the UK Government to help us implement that vision now.”
Growth Track 360 Business Representative, Ashley Rogers, Chief Executive of the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council, said:
“Growth Track 360 represents our modern, vibrant cross-border economy with iconic industrial businesses and world class tourism destinations. Rail investment combined with bus and active travel improvements are the essential components for reducing congestion and unlocking faster economic growth with highly paid employment whilst meeting Net Zero Carbon targets.”