Minister learns of Wrexham issues

Welsh Deputy Minister Lee Waters has called for an improvement to services on the Wrexham-Bidston Line. 

It follows a visit to the route on June 14, so that he could directly experience the problems reported by passengers over recent months - including delays, cancellations, and frequent overcrowding. 

On the train, he was told about the issues by members of the Wrexham-Bidston Rail Users Association and the leaders of the Flintshire and Chester and Cheshire West Councils. 

Waters has now tasked Transport for Wales with creating an improvement plan. 

TfW Managing Director Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde explained how the line had lost its rail service following the transfer of stock to bolster other routes, while the operator’s Class 170 fleet was temporarily withdrawn over engine safety problems. 

This was followed by the introduction of Class 230s built by (the now defunct) Vivarail, which have been plagued by technical issues and poor time-keeping. 

“We are putting in place a series of initiatives to get the line back to reliable train service, focusing on stabilising the new rolling stock reliability and train crew familiarisation,” said Chaudhry-Van der Velde. 

“Once this is accomplished, we can start to plan a higher-frequency service.” 

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