Telford MP, Lucy Allan, today used a debate in Parliament to call on West Midlands Trains Ltd, Arriva Trains, and the Government to improve train services on the Telford to Birmingham line.
Ms Allan, who has long campaigned for improvements to rolling stock, capacity and faster journey times, relayed the “struggles and frustrations” of her constituents to the Minister, Jesse Norman MP. She stressed that the existing service between Telford and Birmingham fails “to meet the needs of a modern thriving New Town”.
Ms Allan urged the Minister to think of Telford, its potential and its opportunities within the Government’s transport and industrial strategies, and to ensure that, as a growing and ambitious town, it must be “well connected to the rest of the country."
Ms Allan concluded by reminding the Minister of Telford’s contribution to the West Midlands economy – its status as a “shining success story - all that a New Town should be” and its growing appeal to new businesses and families.
Speaking at today’s debate, in Westminster Hall, Ms Allan said:
“Our train service has failed to keep pace with Telford’s development and growth and this impacts on people’s everyday lives and the success of our town.
“Thousands of people’s everyday lives can be made so much better - ensure enough carriages, and sort out the spacing of the train times so there isn’t a 45 minute wait between services.
“Telford is an exciting place to live and is one of the most successful towns in the midlands, with employment rates on par with many areas of the south.
“So, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary and look to our future, we need to ensure that our rail services match our growth if we are to continue to be successful in the years ahead.”
Responding to Ms Allan, the Minister of State for Transport, Jesse Norman MP said:
“West Midlands has committed £1bn of investment across the West Midlands in order to deliver better journeys for all
“The new franchise, which will run until 2026, will see passengers in the West Midlands benefit from £700m of investment in new and refurbished trains, including 400 brand new carriages
“A further £60m is to be spent at stations, and provide for 1,000 new parking spaces across the West Midlands network
“From 2020, 80 modern carriages will be introduced to operate in and around Birmingham – including the Telford line
“In addition to offering a higher quality environment, these vehicles will have more seats and should help to alleviate rush-hour overcrowding”
“The line from Telford to Birmingham will be transformed by additional rolling stock. In December 2018, West Midlands Trains will create a regular all day, half hourly service, which will complement the existing hourly service operated by Arriva Trains Wales”
“By 2021, there will be 3 trains per hour to Birmingham all week”
“Telford Central station is also set to benefit from a range of improvements. A bike hire facility will be installed and car users will benefit from an expanded and modernised car park, with 100 new spaces to be created”
“The new West Midlands franchise will also create 900 new apprenticeships”
Notes to Editors
- Ms Allan raised this issue, by way of Written Question, on 22 January 2018. This can be viewed at: http://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-q…
- You can read Ms Allan's speech, in full, at: https://goo.gl/VWj8SA Or, alternatively, download it below.