Growth Track 360 and Mersey Dee Alliance call for Welsh Government's Transport Strategy to recognise crucial role of cross border travel

11 February 2021

Responding to the Welsh Government's consultation on its new 20-year Transport Strategy, local authority leaders from North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester in the Growth Track 360 partnership and Mersey Dee Alliance (MDA) have urged Welsh Ministers to collaboratively plan vital improvements to cross border travel between Wales and England.

MDA Chair - Councillor Mark Pritchard, Leader of Wrexham - said:

"Removing barriers to the use of public transport, cycling and walking envisaged by the Welsh Government is very welcome. These proposed changes are fundamental to delivering economic growth and environmental benefits through new 'Active Travel' infrastructure and investment in bus lanes and zero emissions buses. The strategy needs to be backed up with funding to reduce fares for trains and buses to make them affordable for ordinary people and to fund new services between homes and centres of employment. Improved services are needed on both sides of the Wales/England border to serve the needs of our cross-border economy."

Growth Track 360 Chair - Councillor Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester said:

"The Mersey Dee area is an integrated functional economy operating on both sides of the English and Welsh border. Economic performance has been constrained by disconnected policy making on the part of English and Welsh agencies which has been most keenly felt in poor transport planning. The new Welsh Government Transport Strategy gives us an opportunity to start to put this right."

MDA Vice Chair - Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Vice Chair of the MDA, representing Wirral Council - said:

"Many people travel to work from places like Flintshire and Wrexham into Chester, Runcorn and Liverpool, with some making the reverse trip. It is essential for public bodies in England and Wales to work together to meet the demand for cross border transport and transform both infrastructure and services for a low carbon future. Formal partnership arrangements are needed to ensure agencies work together on public transport and Active Travel."

Growth Track 360 Vice Chair - Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire - said:

"We call for improved cross border connectivity and partnership with Manchester and Liverpool Airports as part of Welsh Government's Transport Strategy. Manchester International Airport is the international gateway to and from North Wales, whilst Liverpool Airport is playing an increasing role in travel to and from North Wales."

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