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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 19:27 GMT
Objections to Wrexham rail link
Wrexham General station
Funding has been offered for a new depot at Wrexham General
Rival train companies have objected to plans for a new direct rail link between Wrexham and London.

Proposals to run up to five trains a day each way are being considered by the Office of the Rail Regulator.

The Welsh Assembly Government said the scheme would improve travel links and create 50 jobs at an operating base in the town.

But concerns have been raised about the impact on rival train services and congestion on the rail network.

The Wrexham, Shropshire and Marylebone Railway Company (WSMR) submitted its application to the regulator in December.

The train companies objecting to it should instead concentrate on encouraging passengers to use their own services
Ian Lucas, Wrexham MP

In November 2006 the assembly government offered funding for a new depot to be built at Wrexham General, quelling fears the plans could be moved to Shrewsbury.

The link would be open to all train operating companies, but several, including Arriva, Virgin West Coast Trains and Central Trains, have voiced objections.

They said they were worried about the impact on their own services, and the extra pressure on the rail network through Birmingham and the West Midlands. But Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: "The train companies objecting to it should instead concentrate on encouraging passengers to use their own services."

The West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, Centro, is concerned the proposals could have a detrimental effect in its area.

Rail watchdog Passenger Focus said while the new link would create more choice, it should only be supported if it was not detrimental to existing routes.




SEE ALSO
Rail depot may bring London link
21 Nov 06 |  North East Wales
Doubts over town's railway centre
19 Oct 06 |  North East Wales
Direct London train for Wrexham
01 Feb 06 |  North East Wales
New stations in 155m rail plans
31 Jan 06 |  South East Wales

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