Talks to bring a direct train service from London to Gobowen and beyond have taken another step forward.

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson revealed his talks with Ken Skates AM, the Welsh Assembly’s economy and infrastructure secretary, have been positive and confirmed he would also like to see the line extended into Wrexham and Chester.

It currently stops at Shrewsbury.

And he said Mr Skates is also keen to develop plans to bring a more regular direct rail link from Gobowen through to Birmingham Airport and to create a Manchester Airport link as well.

He told the Advertizer: “We want to see half-hour services in north Shropshire to the airports in Manchester and Birmingham and he said he would looking into that, which is good.”

Mr Paterson also said positive talks over plans to dual the Oswestry bypass are continuing after he met transport minister John Hayes – who visited the area earlier this year – last week and also raised the issue with Mr Skates, who said there could be the possibility of some cross-border roads funding.

The proposal would see the A5 dualled from Wolf’s Head near Shrewsbury through to Ruabon, and would also see the creation of a bypass for Pant and Llanymynech.

Mr Paterson said: “John Hayes keeps telling me to get support from Wales, which we have got. It’s important we have Susan Elan Jones (MP for Clwyd South), Ken Skates and Ian Lucas (MP for Wrexham) all working together.

“We will never have a better chance and I have no reason to believe we have fallen back with it.”

The meeting came as the government announced a new multi-billion pound investment strategy which will see vehicle tax given to local authorities to make improvements on A roads.

However, as the A5 is a trunk road is not the responsibility of Shropshire Council, it is therefore not eligible.