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Gobowen, Ruabon and Chirk all reinstated as rail stops in Transport for Wales u-turn

A timetable change that saw some communities in Wrexham lose morning train services is to be reversed.

Transport for Wales (Tfw) has confirmed that the Cardiff to Holyhead express train, introduced in December 2019 will stop at Gobowen, Chirk and Ruabon each morning from May 2020.

Late last year stakeholders protested when it was revealed that this service would not be calling at some of the intermediate stations and would remove the hourly service that left Shrewsbury at 09.25.

No consultation had been undertaken by Transport for Wales and the service was introduced despite an online petition and numerous protests.

At the time Tfw said it has made a commitment to introduce a new Cardiff-Holyhead service, which will mean that from December it will be unable to accommodate the stops between Shrewsbury and Chester under the new timetable change.

Cllr David A Bithell, chairman of the Chester Shrewsbury Rail Partnership said: ‘We are pleased to learn that Transport for Wales have reconsidered the stopping pattern of this service and that the express train will now call at Gobowen, Chirk and Ruabon.

“This will be far more convenient for all passengers using the Cardiff to Holyhead service rather than the current rail replacement bus service.

“With passengers’ numbers continuing to rise at all of the stations along this route we will continue to press for the reinstatement of the hourly service on this line to ensure all our communities have the access to the rail connections they need whether for jobs, education or leisure.”

A Transport for Wales spokesperson said: “A timetable consultation was held in November 2019, where we worked closely with rail users to understand the impact of the December timetable changes and to discuss future May 2020 changes.

“Since just before Christmas, we have been operating a Class 158 on the 7.02 Cardiff to Holyhead route, calling at Gobowen, Ruabon and Chirk, alongside a bus replacement service from Shrewsbury. This service will continue until May 2020.

“In addition, from May 2020, the stations of Gobowen, Ruabon and Chirk will be reinstated as rail stops, whereupon the Cardiff to Holyhead service will leave at the slightly earlier time of 06.45.”

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