As a council, we have responded to a public consultation being run by the Manchester Recovery Task Force (MRTF).
MRTF have developed three options to alter railway timetabled passenger and freight services in an attempt to improve the performance of the rail network in the Manchester area.
These timetable changes will impact on Wrexham and North Wales residents who use the rail service to travel into or through Manchester (including Manchester airport).
- Option A – would see North Wales to Manchester services diverted to serve Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge stations. This would remove direct services between North Wales and Manchester Airport, along with the removal of stops at Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations.
- Option B – would retain the current North Wales to Manchester Airport / Manchester Piccadilly services.
- Option C – would divert North Wales to Manchester services via the “Mid-Cheshire Line”. This would remove direct services between North Wales and Manchester Airport, with the service calling at the following stations east of Chester, Northwich, Knutsford, Altrincham and Manchester Piccadilly only.
In his role as Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor David Bithell has written to the MRTF task force stating:
“The only acceptable outcome of this consultation for Wrexham County Borough Council is the retention of our direct Transport for Wales services to Manchester Airport as set out in Option B.
“I am aware that Transport for Wales have engaged with the MRTF team and understand that Options A and C will increase journey times for passengers travelling between North Wales and Manchester Airport and likely lead to worse performance for North Wales commuters.”
The consultation, which is open for responses until March 10, can be viewed on the UK Government website.