Telford’s MP recently met with Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) and West Midlands Trains (WMT) to discuss their franchises and to find ways to highlight Telford’s connectivity needs as the town continues to grow.
During the meetings, the MP raised her concerns about the overcrowding, reduced capacity and consequent delays being experienced by commuters on the route to Wolverhampton and Birmingham.
WMT are required to deliver an additional hourly service, originally planned from December 2018, but this has been delayed to May 2019 due to Network Rail issues and the timetable disruption faced in the Northern region earlier this year.
Following ongoing rail issues in Telford, Lucy Allan is setting up the Telford Train Forum in the form of a working group which will work with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), Telford & Wrekin Council, Network Rail and train operators, including the new operators of Arriva, Keolis/Amey.
The forum will include passenger representatives, councillors, business representatives, Enterprise Telford and Marches LEP.
Lucy Allan said:
‘It is important that all partners focus on how we improve the quality of train services for a town of our size with a growing population. There has been a deterioration in the service over the last 5 years which is unacceptable. Passengers are experiencing problems on an all too frequent basis. Good connectivity is vital if we are to continue to make an increasing contribution to the West Midlands economy.
‘The failure to recognise the importance of Telford as a significant contributor to the West Midlands economy means that there is no long term strategy for our rail connections. Instead the service we get is the same as if we were a small rural town on the way to Wales. We are a thriving economic centre and we deserve better.
‘We need all partners to come together to ensure that Telford’s connectivity needs are met and our rail links significantly improved.’