Shropshire Star

Chamber fears direct London rail link loss will be 'damaging' for Shropshire economy

A Shropshire business organisation says it is ‘very concerned’ at the loss of the county’s direct rail link to London, which it says will damage the local economy.

Last updated
Ruth Ross

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce voiced its fears after The Department for Transport confirmed that Avanti West Coast will end the direct Shrewsbury to London service from June 2.

Currently Shropshire is served by two direct to London services. From June, commuters will need to change at either Wolverhampton or Birmingham to reach the capital.

Shropshire Chamber is urging decision makers and stakeholders to reverse this decision and ensure that the county is serviced by at least one direct connection to the capital.

Chief executive Ruth Ross said: “Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has long identified that one of the key barriers to growth in Shropshire is the lack of transport infrastructure which is fit for purpose in terms of both road and rail.

"The Chamber is therefore very concerned and believes that the cancelling of direct services between Shropshire and London is not only damaging to the local economy but also short sighted given the county’s recent success in being named as one of '10 Destinations to watch' globally by ABTA.

“Businesses need fast, reliable and frequent direct services between Shropshire and London allowing them to make new connections, sell their goods and services and to showcase the great business community that we have here in Shropshire to both national and international audiences.

“The withdrawal of the direct rail service can only be detrimental to the ability of the Shropshire business community to generate economic growth for our region.”

Shropshire Chamber said the direct London rail service provided a vital link between the county and the capital – and discontinuation of this service risked isolating Shropshire businesses from the growth potential which having a direct connection to the capital brings.