Petition calls for reopening of Shrewsbury to Stafford railway line

A petition has been launched calling for the reopening of railway lines linking Shrewsbury to Stafford.

Councillor Eric Carter
Councillor Eric Carter

More than 160 people have signed the petition, calling for a new Shrewsbury to Walsall service, calling at Wellington, Newport, Stafford and Rugeley.

Oliver Ashton, who has launched the petition, said it was sparked after it took him an hour and a half to get to a job interview in Cannock.

He says the journey would take just 43 minutes, if the former line was reinstated.

Telford & Wrekin Councillor Eric Carter, chairman of the Shropshire, Telford & The Marches Strategic Rail Group, said the plans were something he had long had an ambition for.

He said that due to housing developments on the site of the former line, it may be difficult, but was something he was passionate to keep pressure on.

He said: “I’m not saying we can’t do it, I’m saying it would be difficult but everything in life is difficult and we should have ambition.

“When I was cabinet member for transport between 2007 to 2011 we reinstated the Telford international freight terminal and I thought that would give us an opportunity to link with the Wellington to Shrewsbury line.

“But over the past 20 years, there has been development and there are particular problems between the Donnington Depot and Newport where houses have been built.”

Councillor Carter said he had also recently had meetings with councillors in Stafford over proposed housing developments to the west of Stafford station, which would affect any potential line between Newport.

Currently, the former line is a cycle path and walking route but Councillor Carter there is still a chance he could be developed in the future, with a Newport station close to the Audley Avenue business park.

He said: “I have asked if they can stop it going ahead or if they could build a tunnel or a bridge or something so it could still be possible in the future.

“This is something I’d like to keep trying to do.

“I am very keen to see if we can do it and will keep up the pressure.”

It comes after it was announced in October that Stafford railway station will become an “HS2 hub” linking Staffordshire and Shropshire to the super-fast network.

It was also claimed the move could have a knock-on effect on the surrounding network, with plans to electrify the line between Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton and further proposals to extend that route directly to the new hub in Stafford.

The new railway link from Stafford could connect our region to London Euston in just 53 minutes.

The plans were last looked at in 2011, when Shropshire, Telford and the Marches Strategic Rail Group put together £230 million plans to reopen the Telford to Stafford train line.

See the petition at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/173560

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Comments for: "Petition calls for reopening of Shrewsbury to Stafford railway line"

Roger

There are better ways of linking Shropshire to HS2 but they involve reopening old railway lines. mt preferred option is to reopen the old Great Western Line to Birmingham Snow Hill/moore Street. There is already a shortage of capacity between birmingham and Wolverhampton.

To reach Stafford on existing lines via Wolverhamton would make the journey to London longer than the existing West Coast Main Line route or any prposed service to Old Oak Common via the Chiltern Line.

My problem with the Telford to Stafford route would be how many people want to go to Stafford from Shropshire? Our mainline service to London is via Birmingham because Wolverhampton and Birmingham is where the bulk of commuters want to go. Stafford and Shrewsbury suffer the sam problem of ever increasing centralisation taking job away rather than bringing them in. so I see little demand for the line beyond Newport.

If we want a direct HS2 service to London without changing in Birmingham it is probably best achieved via Crewe. Ti be entirely honest about HS2 what's in it for us in Shropshire is reduced congestion on the WCLM allowing us more direct services without changing. HS2 is really a inter "City" service required to improve capacity from London to Mancester and birmingham. If it is to be commercial the cost to use would be prohibitive unless the passenger's fare was being paid on an expense account as part of an employment package.

In my view the cost of taking a Telford to Stafford Line past Newport is unlikely to meet any financial criteria involving a pay back. For any direct service from Shrewsbury to London vis HS2 it would require electrification and that in turn would make electrification from Wloverhampton to Wellington less likely. There is more benefit in electrification from Wellington to Wolverhamton than Wellington to Stafford.

Best of luck to those keen to reopen the Wellington to Stafford line but I think it's a long shot when the money spent elsewhere can bring higher rewards. I think there is a good case for a light railway service from Wellington to Newport via the Hospital and Donnington and extended to Telford Town Centre but that is about local transport for the future not the national network.

On the national network I think we should be focused in Shrewsbury to Birmingham and then on to London with far more trains per day, Hourly all day long which I think is deleverable long before HS2 is delivered and probably a shorter time journey than using HS2.

Onlooker

What? A man is late for an appointment so wants a railway built? Whatever next? The cost will be far too prohibitive and there is no actual call for this railway link. Petitions rarely succeed and he should come back when he has at least 170000 not a mere 170. Where does the money come from? We are lauding the cycle path to Stafford and now they want to put a railway back? Ill thought out madness!

BillJ

Potentially this is an excellent idea and it would give Shropshire a direct link to the West Coast main line and cut journey times to the South by almost one hour. Yes, it will cost money but look at the great success of the new Borders railway in Scotland (passengers numbers 74% more than anticipated) and now the Scottish government is planning to reopen the Aberdeen to Peterhead line which would be a similar sized project to the Wellington to Stafford line (and the first three miles is already built and reopened). It just needs some imaginative and progressive thinking from our Councils and the Department for Transport.