THE four-cornered fight to replace Arriva Wales - when it ceases to serve this Chirk and Gobowen this October - is getting exciting, now it’s down to just two contenders!

Keolis and Amey have clubbed together and are taking on MTR Corporation (Cymru) Ltd. The latest casualty Abellio Rail Cymru was forced out by the Carillion collapse.

The KeolisAmey joint venture - currently running the highly successful Docklands Light Railway in London - is taking on the MTR Corporation that runs Hong Kong’s equally successful Mass Transit Railway. Just who wins this close-run fight is being made in May - and it’s going to be fascinating to monitor how this one pans out.

Don’t stop believing!

ALONG with Advertizer editor Colin Channon, I was at the ambitious inaugural meeting to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) for Oswestry. That was held way back last summer, at the Carriages Café, where there was a detectable groundswell of optimism.

From that tiny acorn could grow a significant £1.5 million investment to secure Oswestry’s future for a generation. Huge congratulations to Ian Follington who picked up the BID baton and to Sainsbury manager Allister Moutrie who organised a follow-up meeting I attended, for not only believing in the project but sticking with it through thick and thin!

Swindling our nurses

NEVER in my life have I paid to park at my workplace. But Shropshire NHS Trust charges its staff, and is now - after the swingeing visitor parking increases last November - asking its doctors and nurses to cough up around a fifth more.

From April 1 a specialist nurse reveals her £15 a month charge will rise to £18, while better paid staff will have to pay £5 more. It’s little wonder it has difficulty in attracting new staff!

But there is a glint of hope - the new charges won’t be reviewed again till 2021!

Thankyou doesn’t cost

CARRIED three tubs of very saleable items to an Oswestry charity shop last Tuesday - and warned that they were a tad heavy. ‘Can’t touch them because of health and safety’ a middle-aged volunteer told me. So this 74-year-old carried them into the back room for him but there wasn’t a single thankyou.

On a second run I had 40 quality shirts to give, worth at least a fiver each second-hand, so took those to the ‘Nightingale Hospice’ charity shop instead, to profuse thankyous!

Rubbish state of roads

ST MARTINS medical angel Effie Cadwallader travel to Liverpool once a week, mainly at night, and is putting her own life put at risk from what she calls ‘filth and litter on the A483’.

‘It’s strewn along from Rhostyllen as far as Gresford - as well as on the A55 - and is disgusting. She coincidentally muses ‘Health ‘n safety would surely ban volunteer clearance’.