The popularity of Conwy Valley train services has increased according to Welsh Government statistics.

North Llanwrst station saw the biggest hike in passenger numbers recording an increase of 29.7 per cent with 1,582 commuters passing through in 2016/17 up from 1,220 in 2015/16.

While Llanwrst saw an extra 888 passengers, an increase of 6.4 per cent, in 2016/17.

Aberconwy Assembly Member Janet Finch-Saunders said the increase in numbers was excellent news for the line and businesses in the area.

She said: "(Taking out the northern stations - Llandudno, Deganwy and Llandudno Junction)The others along the Conwy Valley Line should be seen as having performed very well, with six of the 10 stations seeing increases.

“Interestingly, the stations with easy access to Snowdonia National Park have all, bar one, experienced higher use, indicating to the popularity of the line as a means to access our natural wonder."

Mrs Finch-Saunders said this increase called for a direct rail service from Manchester Airport to Blaenau Ffestiniog which would help create "a truly global gateway to Snowdonia, and direct connectivity with larger urban centres." She said she would be in talks with the Welsh Government about this possibility.

Arriva Train Wales were also pleased with the numbers. Customer Services Director, Bethan Jelfs, said: “We are very pleased to see the number of customers using our services in the Conwy valley growing.

“Getting more people using public transport and being able to connect communities is at the core of our business.

“The line has faced some challenges in recent months with flooding and landslips causing problems, but we have done all we can to keep customers moving.

"We hope that as we continue to work with our partners in Network Rail we will see numbers continue to rise for the benefit of the north Wales economy.”

A total of six stations along the Conwy Valley line saw increases, while seven reported decrease in passenger numbers.

Despite the positives through the Conwy Valley stations, the decrease in usage of the further north stations saw a decrease of 1.2 per cent on the line compared to 2015/16.