TfW: 6500 More Spaces to Improve Capacity in Wales
One major complaint of rail passengers in Wales has been capacity. In response, TfW is introducing 6500 extra spaces per week from December.
In September 2019 Transport for Wales published its Station Improvement Vision – a 194 million GBP investment in improving all 247 railway stations in Wales. TfW now says that 13 stations on the Borderlands Line are the next to undergo upgrade works.
The first TfW-managed station to undergo improvements will be Neston at the end of October. Then, work will start on 12 other TfW stations on the route.
The Borderlands Line has a total of 15 stations, but Transport for Wales does not manage two of them.
“The Borderlands line provides a vital link between north Wales and the Wirral, connecting communities to mainline services which is so important for those economies.”
The work taking place includes cutting untidy or overgrown vegetation, replacing signage and relining the car parks. Additionally, rail users can expect to see deep cleaning and re-branding of shelters. Specifically, the re-branding in the stations is going to be in the new Transport for Wales colours. These works should take around 40 weeks.
“Our station improvement vision really is for everybody and will make such a difference to the impression customers get when using our services and travelling to or from the communities we serve.”
Alongside the short-term updates, passengers can expect to see longer-term improvements thanks to alternative funding. Transport for Wales will be investing in more seating on platforms and updating waiting rooms. Also, the station improvement budget allows for better information screens for rail users as well as new CCTV equipment.
“These are significant improvements in the short-term and the long-term, complementing the plans for better transport and business links around the station as part of the Wrexham Gateway Project.”
Unsurprisingly, the local communities welcome the improvements.
“Flintshire County Council are delighted with the commitment from Transport for Wales’ to invest in the 13 stations that form the Borderlands Line from Wrexham Central through to Upton. These improvements further compliment planned investments at both Shotton Station and Deeside Industrial Park and the forthcoming introduction of the new 230 Class trains along the line.”
The new Class 230 trains are being built by rolling stock manufacturer Vivarail. They used to be London Underground trains. In June 2018 KeolisAmey Wales said it would ordered 5 three-car trains to operate as diesel-battery hybrids on the Borderlands Line.
Wrexham County Borough Council’s Lead Member for Environment and Transport also expressed his support for the station improvement vision.
“Cleaner, safer and more welcoming places encourages people to use public transport. The Wrexham to Bidston railway is key given the commitment of future 30 minute services in the new franchise as well as new trains being introduced along this route.”
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