More than £1.8 million is being invested to accelerate public transport schemes in Deeside as part of the delivery of the North East Wales metro, Transport Secretary Ken Skates has announced.
The funding will improve access to and within Deeside Industrial Park by supporting the acquisition of a site for a proposed park and ride service, enhancing the Deeside shuttle service and improving the bus link from Zone 2 to Zone 3.
Flintshire County Council has also been working closely with communities to develop innovative and sustainable community minibus schemes. The Welsh Government will be providing £127,000 to enable the local authority to purchase two Euro 6 standard minibuses for two schemes in rural communities within Flintshire. This will improve links to local transport hubs, connections with mainline transport services and access to employment and education.
The Cabinet Secretary made the announcement during a visit to the site of the proposed Deeside Parkway railway station which is a big part of the metro developments in the area. Progress is also being made on plans for the integration of Shotton High/Low stations. Transport for Wales is working in collaboration with Flintshire County Council and Network Rail to develop these schemes.
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said:
“The Welsh Government’s investment in Deeside is a clear demonstration of our commitment to delivering an integrated transport hub approach which will benefit commuters and businesses in the area and beyond.
“The £1.8 million Welsh Government investment I am announcing today will be a boost to delivering important schemes which will improve access to and within Deeside Industrial Park and the wider Enterprise Zone, linking communities with jobs and services. They also offer a low carbon travel option enabling people to leave their own vehicle at home which will be of benefit to our environment.
“I’m very pleased we are working closely with Flintshire County Council, Network Rail and Transport for Wales in taking forward important work in Deeside which is a key part of the North East Wales metro vision and also supports the local authority’s Deeside Plan. This reinforces our commitment to deliver major changes to the transport system in the area through engaging and joint working with our key partners.
“The investment is also a great example of the steps we are taking as a forward-looking government in driving prosperity and building a regionally focussed model of economic development, which are important parts of our new Economic Action Plan.”
Cllr Aaron Shotton, Leader of Flintshire County Council, said:
"Today's announcement by the Cabinet Secretary progresses our long held, shared ambition to improve and strengthen public transport links to and within Deeside Industrial Park.
“I particularly welcome the clear commitment to facilitating the creation of a new rail station on Deeside. Ensuring direct rail access for workers locally and across the region has the potential to be a real, 'game changer' for Deeside Industrial Park, a new transport connection is vital to the continuing success of Deeside Industrial Park, enabling it to continue as the premier employment hub within our region."
Alan Edwards, Executive Director of Infrastructure Development at Transport for Wales said:
“Transport for Wales is pleased to be working with our partners at Flintshire County Council and Network Rail to deliver improvements at Deeside Industrial Park and Shotton High/Low Level.
“These projects are key components of the North East Wales Metro, realising the Welsh Government’s vision for an efficient, reliable and high quality transport system which will make it easier for people to travel by public transport.
“Our collaborative approach will help us to ensure that improvements truly meet the needs of local people, improving links between public transport and active travel routes so people can walk or cycle to and from stations, and facilitating more convenient access to stations by other modes of transport.”
Bill Kelly, acting route managing director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said:
“We will continue to work with the Welsh Government, Transport for Wales and other partners to support schemes which deliver a safe, reliable, affordable and growing railway. Working together helps to keep the people of Wales and Borders moving and supports economic growth.”