Shropshire rail service loss 'in breach of law'
The loss of two vital rail services from next month breaches a legal transport agreement, campaigners say.
The Chester to Shrewsbury Rail Partnership has been calling for consultation over Transport for Wales’ new timetable for the Cardiff to Manchester line, which runs through Ludlow and Shrewsbury to Gobowen and Chirk.
Despite protests the new timetable comes in on December 15 – taking out two important stopping trains.
Chairman of the partnership, Councillor David Bithell, has written to the Department for Transport highlighting the breach of Train Service Requirements and the impact the change will have on passengers in England and Wales.
Weekday changes will see the loss of a train that gets into Shrewsbury from south Shropshire at 9.23am and then goes on to Chester. Instead there will be an express service, stopping only at Shrewsbury at 9.01pm and at Wrexham.
Councillor Bithell said: “This means a two-hour gap for stopping services.”
The 2.20pm southbound service will be replaced by a 1.38pm stopping train.
“However, the next service south from Chester will not be until 3.36pm – almost two hours later.”
He added: “It has been confirmed that the removal of this service constitutes a reduction beneath those set out in the Train Service Requirement, which is an important part of the rail devolution agreement between the Department for Transport and Transport for Wales.”
A TfW spokesperson said: “There will be visible improvements across the Wales and borders network in the coming years.
“These include improvements across the network – including at Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Chirk and Gobowen – which will all benefit from additional services every weekday in December 2022.”