Business case for Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton rail improvements due this month

A business case for improvements to one of the county's main rail lines is expected to be submitted this month.

Shrewsbury railway station
Shrewsbury railway station

Midlands Connect has been working on proposals to improve the Shrewsbury to Birmingham line – which would cut journey times.

Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski pressed the case for upgrades to the route with Minister of State for Transport, Wendy Morton MP, in Parliament earlier this week.

He asked: "What assessment he has made of the potential impact of updating and improving the Shrewsbury-Black Country-Birmingham railway line on employment, training and educational opportunities for people in local communities.”

Responding Mrs Morton said that the department would examine the business case for the project – which would set out the possible benefits.

She said: “We are expecting to receive a strategic outline business case from Midlands Connect in July, which I hope will set out the potential impacts of this scheme on employment, training and education.”

Mr Kawczynski also urged the minister to release funding for the work – which he said could see quicker trains operating between Shrewsbury and Birmingham within three years.

Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski

He said: "As she says, a business case is going in to her department in July to increase the line speed between Shrewsbury and Birmingham, which could be done by 2025 if signed off quickly.

"Will she use her good offices to agree the funding for the outline business case, so that we can finally level up for Shropshire with connectivity and speed to our regional capital, Birmingham?”

Mrs Morton said she would be prepared to meet to discuss the plans after reviewing the business case.

She said: "My hon. Friend is absolutely right that rail projects such as this are a vital way of levelling up and growing the economy right across every part of the country. I look forward to receiving the business case next month, and I would be very happy to meet my hon. Friend and stakeholders to discuss the scheme further.”

Midlands Connect has said that it has been looking at the economic case for speeding up Shrewsbury-Birmingham services from 56 minutes to 45 minutes, via track upgrades and possible electrification.

It also wants to increase services from three per hour to four and has ultimate ambitions to electrify the route, as well as introducing a direct, hourly service from Shrewsbury, Telford and Wellington to London, as well as doubling services to Birmingham International.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News