Feb 4 2010 by David Holmes, Chester Chronicle
A GROUP promoting rail travel on rural routes has criticised the withdrawal of £10,000 funding used to support a line serving Chester.
Mansel Williams, chairman of Chester-Shrewsbury Rail Partnership, told the BBC Arriva Trains Wales’ decision to divert the marketing budget elsewhere was ‘ridiculous”.
The partnership was set up to promote travel along the line and to seek improvements to services and facilities.
But the under-fire train company says the success of the line means the funding would be better used on other rural routes more in need of support.
Arriva spokeswoman Rebecca Fjelle said: “Community Rail funding was set up to provide additional marketing and promotional support for rural lines with limited services.
“The advent of hourly services on the Chester to Shrewsbury line has brought significant development in rail use and we are grateful to the Community Rail Partnership, who have been instrumental in supporting and promoting its development.
“Because of the success of the line and the fact that it has a prosperous future, Arriva Trains Wales will be diverting the funding to other routes where further improvements and support will aid their future development.
“Arriva Trains Wales will to continue to work alongside the Chester Shrewsbury line Community Partnership and the local authorities and is already looking at options to further develop facilities and services on this line.”
For more information about the Chester-Shrewsbury Rail Partnership visit: www.chester2shrewsburyrail.co.uk