ORGANISERS of a drop-in session to discuss upgrades to the region’s rail network were met with mixed reactions.
The Welsh Government has set aside £44 million and commissioned Network Rail to deliver journey improvements between North Wales and Cardiff.
One aim is to reduce journey times via Wrexham, as well as providing capacity improvements and giving the potential to run more trains.
Work is beginning on doubling the track between Wrexham and Chester, specifically between Rossett Junction and Saltney Junction, and a drop-in event took place yesterday afternoon at Rossett and Burton Village Hall on Station Road where residents were able to put questions to Network Rail officials.
As part of the project, a number of level crossings will also be upgraded, including those at Green Lane, Lache, Chester; Balderton, Pulford and Broad Oak, Broughton,
To complete the works a small compound has recently been established at the end of Station Road in Rossett, adjacent to the railway.
Sheila Dee, community rail officer for Chester-Shrewsbury Rail Partnership based in the Wrexham Council Environment Department, said: “We’re pleased work is starting but would have liked the enhanced project. However, we are very grateful the Welsh Government has funded the Wrexham rail. We’ve had mixed feedback so far.”
David Northey, senior development manager for Network Rail, allayed the fears of residents: “It’s a Welsh Government led scheme with the ultimate goal of reducing journey time.
“On an average end-to-end journey, this will save 16 minutes which is a vast improvement.
“We’ve had very good feedback and people have asked lots of questions about how it will disrupt Rossett, which will be as little as possible.
“We assure them disruption will be kept to a minimum and workers will be considerate, even down to shutting vehicle doors quietly.
Rossett resident Frances Smith said she was satisfied with what was told at the session.
“As far as we’re concerned they have been open,” she said. “They have put notes through the door and seem to be attempting to minimise the disruption, although it can be a nightmare getting down this road (Station Road) in the morning as it is.”
Another member of the public, who is not from Rossett but goes to the village and wished to remain anonymous, was more critical, saying: “I use the road an awful lot and I am concerned they have made no provision for the size of the road and number of users.
“These vehicles will be travelling this road not once, but twice, a day at least and i’d like to see a transport management scheme in place.
“The drop-in session isn’t good enough as many people can’t make it during the day due to being at work. They should be contacting and consulting everyone.”