The next Deeside Industrial Park Business Forum meeting will take place on 4th April, 1:30pm to 3:30pm, at Days Hotel, Garden City in Flintshire, Wales (CH5 2HX). Chaired by local entrepreneur and CEO of Deeside-based telecoms repair and support company Comtek, Askar Sheibani, and attended by the president of the Business Forum, Lord Barry Jones, the event is open to all local businesses and residents interested in discussing the region’s poor rail infrastructure and the impact the UK Government’s controversial high-speed rail plans will have on Deeside.

Speaking at the event will be Joe Rukin, campaign manager at Stop HS2, and Malcolm Wright, chairman at Wrexham-Birkenhead Rail Users Association. HS2 Ltd’s CEO, Alison Munro, and community and stakeholder manager, Terry Stafford, have both been invited to attend the meeting to discuss how HS2 will impact the area.

In September last year, the Deeside Industrial Park launched a campaign demanding improvement to the Wrexham to Bidston rail route, which is infrequent, unreliable, slow and poorly maintained, with no plans for it to be electrified. The route connects Wrexham – home to Glyndwr University – to strategic business hubs, such as the Deeside Enterprise Zone, Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone and the Liverpool City Region, so could provide considerable economic benefit to the area if upgraded. Investing in this and other similar train lines offer an alternative, more localised way of upgrading the rail network, and is in stark contrast to the UK Government’s HS2 plans, which aim to build superfast railway links between the already well connected and more prosperous London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

Sheibani offers the following comment:

“I am delighted that we are continuing to drive our campaign forward to electrify the Wrexham to Bidston rail route, one of the most important rail links between North West England and North Wales, at the next Deeside Industrial Park Business Forum meeting. Despite news that the HS2 rail project should be accelerated, we remain focused on proving to the UK Government the advantages of investing in local projects which address the heart of the UK rail problem. Only by better connecting the areas that people live in the UK, will we build a stronger economy across the breadth of the country, rather than simply boosting a few, already wealthy, cities.”

If you would like further information on HS2, or if you would like to attend the Deeside Industrial Park Business Forum’s open meeting on Friday 4 April, 1:30pm to 3:30pm, please contact Brian Chaloner at Brian_Chaloner@flintshire.gov.uk and register your name.