Rail upgrade is derailing our lives, say villagers


Rory Sheehan

RESIDENTS attending a Network Rail event hit out at the disruption caused by work on a £44m scheme.

Rossett villagers have previously reported that work under way to improve the Wrexham to Chester line was causing traffic chaos outside their homes.

The changes will see 5.5 mile stretch of line ‘re-doubled’ between Rossett and Saltney Junction.

The issues raised previously included the road being blocked by a flow of large vehicles and workmen parking on the road instead of in a designated compound.

The consultation event at Rossett and Burton Village Hall yesterday saw a large turn-out with people registering their views to the rail company representatives.

Cllr Hugh Jones, who represents the Rossett ward on Wrexham Council, said it has been “chaotic” and “shambolic”.

“Even by their own admission, Network Rail have admitted they have had problems.

“I’d like to see a proper plan and timetable in place. I want them to properly engage with residents before they carry out work.”

Farmer David Willis from Burton said he was concerned about potential road closures: “It will be chaos for the village. I’ve not been reassured at all.

“Station Road has already been shut. You can walk through but you can’t drive through.

“We need to get to Rossett as there are no shops in Burton at all – so we’re being cut off.

“On a busy day, 50 to 80 tractors go over the bridge but they will all have to go through the centre of the village.”

Peter Maddocks, 65, from Llay, said: “I’ve come along just to see why they are only doubling the line as far as Rossett and not all the way to Wrexham.

“Wrexham is the third largest conurbation in Wales. We’re still only on a single track – yet places like Newport are getting the benefit of electrified tracks.”

A spokesman for Network Rail at the event, said: “Most of the concerns surround traffic and we are asking contractors to park at a compound in Rossett or Balderton.

“The workers are then shuttled to the site by minibus to minimise disruption.

“The biggest deliveries are still coming by rail but we’ll still have to have some road vehicles over the next fortnight which will be busy and traffic might be heavier than normal. After that, work should slow down. We have sent out letters to the community and advertised events like this to allow people to come to us with their concerns and drop by. We also have a 24 hour helpline and all concerns are logged and dealt with.”

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