MCRUA response to Wales & Borders Franchise Consultation ….

Posted on May 9th, 2016, by The Chairman

The Wales & Borders franchise consultation was launched by the Welsh Government and covers the services currently operated by Arriva Trains Wales. This includes the Chester to Manchester via Warrington line, the Manchester to Crewe, Shrewsbury, Hereford to South Wales services and the Chester to Crewe service. We understand the franchise’s most profitable services are those mentioned, and as you may note, are not in Wales.

MCRUA felt it was important to respond to demonstrate the interest in the franchise from those outside Wales. Indeed, we recognise that one of our busiest flows along the Mid Cheshire Line on Sundays, Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays is from the Wrexham area to and from South Yorkshire, mainly Sheffield and Doncaster, with students and others travelling to work and college, their quickest route being from Chester, along the Mid Cheshire Line and changing at Stockport.

Our full franchise consultation response is here.

The points brought out in our response include:
– the need for a half-hourly Chester to Wrexham service
– a desire to see the Welsh Government work closely with organisations with similar interests across the border with England, in this case Cheshire West & Chester Council, Merseytravel and Rail North, and
– Advance Purchase tickets to be available for Wales & Borders services from stations on connecting railway lines, as is the case for the Mid Cheshire Line for services run by Cross Country and Virgin Trains West Coast.

We look forward to the Response to the Consultation and to the subsequent production of the Invitation to Tender.

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