A CROSS-border alliance has been set up in a bid to secure modernisation of the North Wales rail network.

Councils in North Wales and the North West of England have decided to work together to help strengthen the case for benefits for HS2 and proposals to develop stations at Crewe and Manchester stations.

Cllr Dilwyn Roberts, chair of the North Wales Regional Leadership Board and leader of Conwy County Council, said: " Delivery of rail network modernisation in North Wales will strengthen the business case benefits for HS2 proposals to develop stations at Crewe and

Manchester that North Wales Council Leaders are keen to support."

Other proposals include developing a package of new stations and integrated transport proposals that will enable a switch of traffic in North Wales from road to rail and quantifying the economic benefits to North Wales from improved connectivity with the planned HS2 hubs at Crewe and Manchester.

Improving and electrifying the Wrexham – Liverpool line which will connect North Wales to the Deeside Industrial Park and Enterprise Zone, the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone and Central Liverpool will also be looked at as will improving access from North Wales to Manchester and Liverpool via Chester.

Cllr Hugh Evans OBE, chair of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board and leader of Denbighshire Council said: "The Economic Ambition Board will lead on making the case for investment in the North Wales rail network with members of the Welsh and Westminster parliaments.

"Officers of the Economic Ambition Board will supply the information requested by the members of the HS2 Growth Task Force.

"This will include information on population growth in North Wales, where new jobs will be created in North Wales and plans for growing tourism in North Wales.”