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 The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) was a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom set up - under the Transport Act 2000 - to provide strategic direction for Britain's railway industry. (SRA SrA
senior airman ) 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 North Wales (known in some archaic texts as Northgalis) is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales, bordered to the south by Mid Wales and to the east by England. , citing that there was an adequate link via the Wirral line The Wirral Line is one of the two lines operated by Merseyrail on Merseyside, England, the other being the Northern Line. It connects Liverpool with the Wirral Peninsula, with branches to New Brighton, West Kirby, Chester and Ellesmere Port. 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