Posted: Mon 3rd Feb 2020

Updated: Wed 26th Feb

cllr backs Beeching about turn

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 3rd, 2020

A councillor whose father was a train driver would back the reopening of a rural train line closed during after the infamous Beeching Report.
Cllr Brian Jones is Denbighshire council’s lead member for transport and he believes it was folly to close the Corwen to Denbigh line in the 1960s.
The section of track helped keep rural areas of the county in touch with the coastal strip by connecting with the Vale of Clwyd line between Rhyl, St Asaph and Denbigh.
It opened fully in 1865 and was completely closed 100 years later, although it was closed to passengers in April 1962 after the Beeching report.
Now UK transport secretary Grant Shapps has promised £500m of Government cash to reopen lines mothballed, after Dr Richard Beeching’s report into the rail system in 1963. Cllr Jones believes Denbighshire should bid for the cash.
Around 5,000 miles of track were closed and more than 2,300 stations axed, mainly in rural areas after Beeching. Wales lost 189 stations in the cull, mostly in rural areas.
Cllr Jones said: “I’m definitely in favour of bidding for the money. There will obviously be criteria to it and goodness knows who owns the land now – but I would be in favour.
“I’ve had the conversation a few times over the past years. If someone had had the foresight to see where we are in 2020, they never would have shut the line down.
“It falls in line with our transport and sustainable communities plans.”
Lines in Northumberland and Lancashire have already been earmarked to receive some of the £500m windfall – a sum the RMT union called a “drop in the ocean”.
Cllr Jones, who represents Rhyl south-east, added: “My father was a train driver and he used to take me on the footplate of the steam trains.”
The Ruthin to Corwen part of the service was discontinued in 1953 and the remaining spur from Ruthin to Denbigh survived as part of the Chester via Mold shuttle until April 1962. It continued taking freight until closing fully in 1965.
The service called at Rhewl and Trefnant along its route. The Denbigh station site is now occupied by a retail park and Ruthin craft centre stands on its old station. The station at Corwen remains intact but used as a retail outlet for Ifor Williams Trailers, which are built in the town.
Vale of Clwyd MP James Davies asked for locals to suggest routes. He said: “Projects with the greatest likely potential, viability and economic benefit will be prioritised.
“I would be keen to hear from local people about their priorities for rail.  It is likely the area has most to benefit from enhancing the North Wales mainline and its connections further afield.
“There are also opportunities to open a station in Deeside to allow better public transport access to jobs to those from the Vale of Clwyd.” ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

By Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

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