Neston’s Transport Working Group at its meeting on 27 November discussed this unprecedented disruption to rail services that will continue until further notice.
The new display of winter flowers on Neston Station – provided through Neston Town Council and the station adopters group – is impressive,
but the absence of many trains means that few will passengers will see them (Photo: Chair of Transport Working Group)
The news filtered through to the town at the end of last week and was considered at the Wrexham Bidston Rail Users’ Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Neston on 24 November – which featured a significant attendance from Neston Town Councillors. John Allcock Wrexham Bidston Rail Users Association chairman, who is also a member of the Transport Working Group, chaired the meeting. The explanations offered by Transport for Wales (TfW) included damage to trains as a result of Storm Callum and trains being abstracted for the rugby internationals at Cardiff. The storm ended on the 14th October and the rugby internationals are over, and the service is still disrupted. The Transport Working Group considered that this significant loss of public transport would weaken confidence in the rail service still further – a situation that will take a long time to reverse. There was also concern for the many schoolchildren who use the train to attend Neston High School from Heswall, and for commuters trying to get to and from work.
Unfortunately, there was no guarantee given about when the full service will resume. Meanwhile anybody wishing to reach stations on the line must rely on Pat’s Coaches, which can be boarded at the Ladies Walk bus stop. Extra buses have been provided but journey times are extended. Further details of the amended timetabled services can be found at https://www.journeycheck.com
On a positive note, the WBRUA AGM did hear of extensive plans to improve trains, stations and service frequency, although precise details cannot be released at present. However, in response to a question from Neston Town Councillor Ceri Lloyd, Ben Davies from TfW Rail Services was unable to give an absolute guarantee that all future rail services would stop at Neston station.
Chair of the Transport Working Group, said: “It is regrettable that the change of rail franchise has been accompanied by the worst service failure on this line that anybody can remember. It raises concerns about what status English borders and North Wales will have within the Transport for Wales operation. The plans for the future are impressive and give grounds for optimism, but the Town Council, in partnership with other station adopters and the Wrexham Bidston Rail Users Association, will have to fight hard to restore the current service – and remain vigilant as the TfW plans unfold”.
- Neston Town Council is a station adopter and contributes substantially to the display of flowers.
- Neston Station Adopters would welcome new members who are interested in making the station a colourful and inviting gateway to Neston, and who want to engage in the debate about rail services in the town. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For details of the Wrexham Bidston Rail Users’ Association, including how to join, visit its website: wbrua.org/
- Neston Town Council is a member of the Wrexham Bidston Rail Users’ Association.