Fighting for improved disabled access at Ruabon Station

Campaigners fighting for improved disabled access at a train station say they hope the Welsh Government will step up where Westminster has ‘failed’ them.

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones and local councillor Dana Davies have renewed calls for better disabled facilities at Ruabon Station, which they say has been neglected for too long by the Tory UK Government.

Last year Ms Jones presented a petition to Parliament on behalf of the Friends of Ruabon Station urging action.

This week she said: “The job of improving infrastructure and access at our railway stations comes under the remit of the Tory Government at Westminster but, quite frankly, they have failed us. The fantastic Friends of Ruabon and my constituents have long called for better disabled access, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.”

Cllr Dana Davies also praised the hard work of the Friends of Ruabon volunteers and added: “As well as the promise of a significant upgrade at Ruabon Station, the Welsh Labour Government has said it will step in to address the chronic lack of investment by the Tory Government in improving access at Welsh stations. I desperately hope this will include funding for Ruabon.”

Ms Jones added: “Just £600,000 was spent on stations in the last 15 years of the Arriva franchise. In the next 15 years almost £200m will be spent improving every single Welsh station. That will include an unprecedented £15m on accessibility improvements. If the Welsh Government can help where the UK Government hasn’t it will be huge for our area.”

Cllr Davies and Clwyd South AM Ken Skates spoke to passengers about the new Wales rail franchise during a campaign day at Ruabon in September as part of Welsh Labour’s National Rail Campaign Day, which aimed to explain some of the benefits Wales’s new rail operator will bring.

At the event Mr Skates said: “In the coming years, the Welsh Government will deliver a ground-breaking transformation of transport across Wales. It’s extremely exciting and we had a great response from passengers at Ruabon Station, which will undergo a significant upgrade along with Wrexham General and Chirk.”

KeolisAmey has been contracted to operate the Wales and Borders rail service for the next 15 years, taking over from Arriva Trains Wales in October. The company will work with Transport for Wales, the not-for-profit company set up to drive the Welsh Labour Government’s vision of a world-class, safe, integrated and affordable transport network.

This will include:

* Investment of £2.4m at Wrexham General to enable the acceleration of the North East Wales Metro

* Significant upgrades of Chirk and Ruabon stations as part of a £200m modernisation programme

* Increasing the frequency on the Wrexham-Bidston line to two trains per hour from Dec 2021 – with fully refurbished metro trains

* A new hourly Liverpool to Llandudno/ Shrewsbury service and a new Liverpool-Cardiff train stopping at Wrexham

* Half-price concessionary fares being extended to 16-18 year-olds

* Refunds for delays over 15 minutes and penalties for the operator if passengers have to stand for longer than 20 minutes

Susan Elan Jones MP and Ken Skates AM at Ruabon