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WALES: Six-figure cash pot to upgrade stations.

Byline: By SAM LISTER Parliamentary Correspondent

HUNDREDS of thousands of poundswill be invested in overhauling three North Wales railway stations, the Daily Post can reveal.

Rhyl, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction are all set to get an upgrade by Network Rail, according to MPs.

They are pushing for the revamps to include better car parking security as well as improving the appearance and facilities of the stations.

Although transport executives are still finalising proposals, Welsh Labour MPs have been given a progress report outlining how the three locations, as well as nearby Chester, will be in line for amajor pot of funding.

Chris Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd, said: "We have been pushing for improvements across North Wales.

"We have asked for secure parking in Llandudno, Colwyn Bay and Rhyl and are working with the Assembly on securing other improvements.

"Network Rail has said hundreds of thousands of pounds will be spent on improving these three stations as well as Chester. Massive improvements have already been made at Rhyl station with security. Eleven CCTV cameras have been installed and half of the British Transport Police staff have been relocated from Bangor to the station."

It comes amid fears that a separate major railway upgrade in the region might collapse because of a massive cost increase.

Estimates to revamp and electrify the Wrexham to Bidston line were put at pounds 60m but that could now reach pounds 200m.

On the station improvements, part of a pounds 150m nationwide strategy, Network Rail is working with industry leaders, including representatives of the train companies operating in North Wales, and the Welsh Assembly Government, to thrash out exactly what work is a priority.

A spokeswoman said: "North Wales is one of the areas thatwill benefit fromthe National Stations Improvement Programme.

"This is an industry led programme and the final details of what is being proposed is still being considered. We cannot say at this stage which stations will be involved but the final list will be announced in the next few weeks."

sam.lister@pa.press.net

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Stations at Llandudno Junction (top), Rhyl and Colwyn Bay are to share a major cash pot for upgrades
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 29, 2008
Words:364
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