More than £1.8 million is being invested to accelerate public transport schemes in Deeside as part of the delivery of the North East Wales metro.

The funding, announced by transport secretary Ken Skates, will improve access to and within Deeside Industrial Park by supporting the acquisition of a site for a proposed park and ride service, enhancing the Deeside shuttle service and improving the bus link from Zone two to Zone three.

Flintshire Council has also been working closely with communities to develop innovative and sustainable community minibus schemes.

The Welsh Government will be providing £127,000 to enable the local authority to purchase two Euro 6 standard minibuses for two schemes in rural communities within Flintshire.

This will improve links to local transport hubs, connections with mainline transport services and access to employment and education.

The cabinet secretary made the announcement during a visit to the site of the proposed Deeside Parkway railway station yesterday, which is a big part of the metro developments in the area.

Progress is also being made on plans for the integration of Shotton High/Low stations. Transport for Wales is working in collaboration with Flintshire Council and Network Rail to develop these schemes.

Mr Skates said: “It’s a jewel in the crown of British Industry, it really is one of the most important industrial estates in the country and so it’s important we go on supporting it.

“I think it’s hugely important for the people of Deeside and people of Flintshire and North Wales to get first class public transport facilities to make sure they can get to and from places of work, to and from services and leisure opportunities as swiftly and efficiently as possible.”

He added: “The Welsh Government’s investment in Deeside is a clear demonstration of our commitment to delivering an integrated transport hub approach which will benefit commuters and businesses in the area and beyond.

“The £1.8 million Welsh Government investment I am announcing today will be a boost to delivering important schemes which will improve access to and within Deeside Industrial Park and the wider Enterprise Zone, linking communities with jobs and services. They also offer a low carbon travel option enabling people to leave their own vehicle at home which will be of benefit to our environment. "

He added: “The investment is also a great example of the steps we are taking as a forward-looking government in driving prosperity and building a regionally focussed model of economic development, which are important parts of our new Economic Action Plan.”

Cllr Aaron Shotton, leader of Flintshire Council, said: "I particularly welcome the clear commitment to facilitating the creation of a new rail station on Deeside. Ensuring direct rail access for workers locally and across the region has the potential to be a real, game changer for Deeside Industrial Park, a new transport connection is vital to the continuing success of Deeside Industrial Park, enabling it to continue as the premier employment hub within our region."

Bill Kelly, acting route managing director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “We will continue to work with the Welsh Government, Transport for Wales and other partners to support schemes which deliver a safe, reliable, affordable and growing railway. Working together helps to keep the people of Wales and Borders moving and supports economic growth.”

Mr Skates has been working closely with Flintshire Council and Network Rail to ensure plans go in the right direction as he said currently, just one per cent of industrial workers use public transport due to difficult access points and time.

The cabinet secretary, alongside the council, are conducting tests to reduce congestion until plans for the railway are complete.