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Letter: Rail outpost.

Byline: Adrian Benn

I AM writing regarding yet another rail link being closed in the Merseyside area while Manchester's rail links improve and expand.

It was recently reported that the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) didn't think that pounds 5m investment was justified for improving and restoring links from south Liverpool via Runcorn and the Halton spur railway line to Chester and North Wales, citing that there was an adequate link via the Wirral line to Chester.

Firstly, it seems ludicrous to have to travel from south Liverpool into the city centre, taking at least 15 minutes by train and then traverse the Wirral line southwards to Chester (another 35-40 minutes, not taking into account waiting for a connection and the 30-minute frequency) giving a journey time of at least an hour to travel to a destination no more than 20 miles away.

The same journey from the South Liverpool Parkway interchange would take no more than 15-20 minutes, with a stop at Runcorn for connections to London trains and justify an improvement in services in the City line, which presently has only hourly stopping trains to and from Liverpool Lime Street.

Secondly, it would be advantageous for John Lennon Airport as Chester and North Wales passengers would need one direct train to the interchange and a short hop to the airport terminal.

Thirdly, it seems ludicrous as we approach the Capital of Culture year in 2008 that Liverpool, the unofficial ``capital'' of North Wales, has no direct rail link.

Liverpool, for reasons best known to SRA and the Manchester-based First North West rail company, is being shunted into the sidings and being treated as the Cinderella city with regards to rail transport.

I should strongly urge Merseytravel, local MPs and other interested parties and people with the influence to fight these latest proposals before we become a third-rate rail outpost.

Adrian Benn, Liverpool 4
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2004
Previous Article:Letter: Political factor.
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