Conwy Valley Line

Hat tip to Alwyn regarding the call by Councillor Gwilym Euros Roberts of Blaenau Ffestiniog to upgrade the Conwy Valley Line.

Interestingly, two years ago, I made this part of my manifesto for the Assembly election in Aberoconwy, as reported in the Daily Post, although obviously I couldn't focus specifically on Blaenau's needs as it was in an other constituency.

I also discuss the potential of upgrading an all-Wales railway line here.

Of course, nothing has happened since and I sincerely hope that Gwilym has more success than I did in pushing this agenda forward

"Candidate in Rail Investment Call"
October 3rd, 2006, Daily Post

A TORY Assembly candidate called yesterday for a pounds 26m investment to upgrade the Conwy Valley rail line. Dylan Jones-Evans, who is standing in Aberconwy in next May's poll, said the Welsh Assembly government was missing an opportunity to increase the prosperity of the region.
Improvements on the line to allow more frequent services would boost tourism and business, he claimed. He highlighted approved investment by the Assembly totalling pounds 37m towards the re-opening of the Ebbw valley and Vale of Glamorgan rail links to passengers.
Prof Jones-Evans said: "Research has shown that improving the rail infrastructure can bring wealth and prosperity to a region, and upgrading the line is supported by people up and down the Conwy Valley.
"However, having written to Arriva Trains on this issue, I was disappointed to be informed there are no plans to improve services in the immediate future despite the fact that it is crucial that we have a sustainable and regular public transport system for the region."
He said that three hours between train departures was totally unacceptable and the line needed to be upgraded to ensure local people could commute to the main coast.
"It will undoubtedly encourage more tourists to travel on this beautiful line from Llandudno and stop off to shop at Llanrwst, Betws y Coed and the rest of the Conwy Valley"
Prof Jones-Evans said a report in 2005, commissioned by the Assembly, showed that the upgrade to the line could be less than the cost of the Ebbw Vale project.
"A 2005 report by WS Atkins showed that an upgrade of the line would cost pounds 26m and would create 100 sustainable jobs, and yet nothing has been done.
"If funding is being provided for areas in South Wales such as the Vale of Glamorgan and Ebbw Vale, then the Welsh Assembly government should also prioritise funding for North Wales to support its transport infrastructure, especially as it will help boost tourism, the major economy for the region."
Prof Jones-Evans said: "To date, Conwy has not fully benefited from European Objective 1 funding in the way that it should have."

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