Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders has welcomed the support of the UK Government for proposals to upgrade the Wrexham-Bidston Borderlands Line, which serves Neston. However, he has stated his concern that “warm words” had been offered “but no cash yet” and pledged to continue his campaign for service improvements until a full financial commitment has been made.
Questioning the Minister for Wales in Parliament on 19th October, Mr Madders highlighted the Growth Track 360 Campaign, which is being led by a cross-border alliance of business, political and public sector leaders and championed by Cheshire West & Chester Council.
Mr Madders said:
“The Secretary of State has spoken of the Growth Track 360 campaign, which, as the Minister will know, has the potential to transform the north Wales and Cheshire area by delivering 70,000 new jobs over 20 years.
Improving the Wrexham to Bidston line, which serves Neston in my constituency, has been identified as the first priority for the team. Will the Minister join in the words of encouragement that we have already heard in agreeing to make representations to the Chancellor ahead of the autumn statement so as to deliver some of this much-needed investment?”
Wales Minister, Guto Bebb MP replied:
“I am pleased to echo the words of the Secretary of State, who highlighted the Growth Track 360 proposals. These are made in North Wales or made in north-west England proposals which will try to improve connectivity between parts of north-west England and north-east Wales. We are supportive of the proposals. I am pleased to say that this morning the Treasury wrote to the proposers in North Wales stating that support.”
MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston, Justin Madders said:
“I have been making the case for these improvements since I was elected, as they would see transport links in and out of Neston transformed for the better. This would provide a welcome boost for local business and would help to connect local people with job opportunities around the region.
“I commend everyone involved with Growth Track 360, which has really put flesh on the bones of the case that we have been making about the benefits for everyone if we can better link the North West of England with North East Wales.
“This is the most positive response that we have heard from the UK Government to date, but as things stand we only have warm words and no cash yet. I will not stop campaigning for these improvements until the cheques have been signed and the work has been started.”