Petition to reverse Shropshire train service cuts launched

A petition has been launched to try to stop a reduction in a train service through Shropshire.

Transport for Wales has announced that when a new timetable comes in December it will include a new, express train from Cardiff to Holyhead on weekday mornings.

The train will have four carriages and will not stop at many of the small stations en-route including Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Gobowen and Chirk.

To allow it smooth passage on the line one of the morning stopping trains, the 9.33am from Shrewsbury to Chester, calling at all stations will be removed.

An afternoon stopping train will also be taken out of the timetable for the return journey of the express service.

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Now Wrexham councillor David Bithell has launched a petition calling for the decision to be reversed.

He said it was a backwards stop for local people.

"Train Services are important to residents and the local economy given the Welsh Government Decision to declare a Climate Emergency," Councillor Bithell said.

"Reducing carbon emissions and investing in the Rail Network is critical to meet carbon emission targets by 2030. This line has increased passenger numbers at each of the stations year on year of up to 20 per cent over the last five years and continues to grow."

The petition has already been signed by 600 people, many saying they use the 9.33am train from Shrewsbury.

Councillor Bithell says he will give the petition to Lee Robinson Director of Development for North Wales for Transport for Wales.

A Transport for Wales spokesperson said: “We have made a commitment to introduce a new Cardiff – Holyhead service departing from Cardiff Central before 7.30am with a total journey time of under four hours 30 minutes.

“Unfortunately to achieve this we will not be able to accommodate the stops between Shrewsbury and Chester due to the impact it will have on other existing services in the area at that time in the morning. This also applies to the return southbound service.

“Furthermore, platform extension work will need to be done in relation to Chirk, Ruabon and Gobowen to allow a train of this length to call at these stations.

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