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Updates from North Wales

North Wales

Railway changes could lead to more passenger services

The decision of the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) to grant shared access to the Wrexham to Bidston Borderlands Line for Transport for Wales (TfW) and Great British Railfreight (GBRf) was welcomed today by Growth Track 360, a scheme launched to secure £1bn of rail improvements across North Wales and Cheshire.

The decision will enable a significant increase in passenger services by Transport for Wales, moving from hourly services to half hourly services for most of the day, whilst protecting existing freight services provided by GBRf for Hanson Cement.

Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire County Council and Vice Chair of Growth Track 360 said:

“The key message from the ORR decision is that there must be urgent investment in the Wrexham to Bidston Borderlands line starting with UK Government backing for Flintshire’s Levelling Up Fund Bid that proposes an upgrade to the Hanson Cement Freight Sidings and a new Deeside Station to serve Deeside Industrial Park

“The Flintshire Levelling Up Fund Bid for the Borderlands Line was prepared by Transport for Wales. It is supported by Hanson Cement and Members of Parliament in the Mersey Dee Area. It will unlock the potential of a long-neglected railway asset for both passengers and freight, enabling sustainable economic growth.

“Now that this decision has been made Transport for Wales must seize the day and introduce the proposed new passenger services as soon as possible.”

Electric charging hub goes live

A Rhyl based multi electric vehicle charging hub is now live for drivers to use.

The West Kinmel car park site, the largest charging hub, can now be used by owners of electric vehicles.

The opening of the 36 vehicle capacity hub, funded by the Welsh Government, follows the successful installation of chargers at Kings Avenue car park at Prestatyn in the summer.

Rhyl’s new hub is a mix of ‘fast’ 7kwh chargers for local users who have no access to off street parking and ‘rapid’ 50kw chargers for a quick charge top up and also to help local taxi drivers on the uptake of electric vehicles by minimising disruption to operational work time.

All the chargers at the hub are open for public use.

Three of the parking bays and charging units are specifically allocated for disabled users.

The charging units also offer a range of bilingual payment options including, contactless card, App driven and RFID Card.

Daytime and peak time users will still pay for a parking space at the hub however the electric vehicle bays will have no parking charges levied between 17:00 and 08:00 as per the rest of the car park.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport said:

“We are really pleased to open Rhyl’s new charging hub and I thank the local community for their support during construction. This facility will help those in the area who don’t have off-street parking and want to move to running an electric vehicle.

“Visitors will also be able to charge their vehicles here which will in turn support the business community of the town. It will also become a useful facility for those travelling in the area needing to charge their cars, drawing more people to discover what Rhyl and the surrounding communities have to offer.

“I would also like to thank the team which made this site possible, which includes Denbighshire County Council, Scottish Power Energy Networks, SWARCO, A Parry Construction, MEGA Electrical and O’Connor Utilities who all worked tirelessly to deliver this first of its kind project for North Wales in a timely and efficient way.”

Art competition raises awareness of Childline

Denbighshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Arwel Roberts has announced he is launching a new Denbighshire Schools Art Competition, entitled WELLNESS – ‘What Makes You Happy?’.

This new competition aims to raise awareness of the NSPCC’s vital Childline service, which is a free, confidential service available online or on the phone, anytime for children and young people up to 19-years-old to seek support and advice, including about their mental health.

The creative challenge invites Denbighshire’s under 12-year-olds to send in their artwork of things that make them happy. For example, a trip to the park or the beach, visiting family, spending time with friends, playing sport.

DCC NSPCC Schools Art Comp

The participants will be in with a chance for their art to go on display in libraries across the county during Children’s Mental Health Week, from the 6th to the 12th of February, with the overall winner being awarded a free workshop in school with a leading Welsh artist. The closing date for the competition will be the 27th of January.

Speaking on the launch, Denbighshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Arwel Roberts said:

“This competition is a chance for children and young people to be creative and truly express how they’re feeling through the medium of art. I am really looking forward to seeing all of the amazing entries.”

Jessica Finnegan, Community Fundraising and Partnerships Manager at NSPCC Wales/Cymru, said:

“We are delighted this new art competition has been opened to raise awareness of our Childline service. Childline provides vital support for children and young people to be able to talk about their mental health, and in fact we know this was among the top three concerns counselled at our Childline base in Prestatyn last year.”

Children and young people can contact Childline about any worries by calling 0800 1111 or visiting the website.

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