MPs urge transport secretary to make rail line electrification a 'priority'

A group of MPs are calling on the Transport Secretary to make the electrification of the Shrewsbury to Birmingham rail line a ‘priority’.

The letter calls for improvements to the line between Shrewsbury and Birmingham
The letter calls for improvements to the line between Shrewsbury and Birmingham

The Shropshire and Black Country MPs said the project would make a major difference to the lives and the economy of the region.

The five urging action are Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski, Telford MP Lucy Allan, Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard, Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson, and West Bromwich West MP Shaun Bailey.

A letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps states: "Businesses, commuters, and residents will all benefit from an upgraded route as will our economy. This is the definition of a win-win project and can help take us from rails to recovery."

Their call comes after last week the government released a Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which committed to “deliver an ambitious, sustainable, and cost-effective programme of electrification”.

The MPs are asking the government to ensure that the rail corridor is included within the programme and is selected as a major priority.

In the letter they state: "We would also like to meet with you to inform you and your ministerial colleagues of the real benefits that improvements in this rail corridor would deliver to our constituencies."

Daniel Kawczynski MP is one of five MPs who have signed the letter

Recently, transport body Midlands Connect released a report outlining some of the benefits of electrifying the route, including a near £500 million boost to the economy.

It said 337 jobs would be safeguarded in the design and construction of the scheme, and a further 81 jobs would be created if the project was implemented – as well as faster trains and new hourly trains from Shrewsbury, Wellington, Telford and Wolverhampton to London.

Mr Kawczynski said: “My colleagues and I look forward to working very closely with the minister on this project. The electrification of the line is a strategic investment which will be vital for the economic prosperity of our region for the current and future generations.”

Mr Bailey added: “Commuters in the Black Country deserve a first-class train service and I am committed to doing all I can to deliver it. Residents tell me about the struggle of getting on a train, at peak time, before the pandemic and I want to urge the government to invest in our rail services so we can build back better. This project will help us level up and build back better.”

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News