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Shropshire Star petition for direct rail link to London

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Hundreds of people have already backed a campaign launched by the Shropshire Star to introduce a direct rail link between the county and London  

A petition has been set up, which will be delivered to officials in the capital who have blocked plans to set up services from Euston Station to Shrewsbury, Telford and Wellington.

To vote, click here.

Cross-party MPs in the county today backed the campaign, together with business leaders who say the link is vital for Shropshire's future.

Virgin Trains wants to re-establish the services, but its plans have been vetoed by the Government's Office of Rail Regulation.

Officials at the ORR have backed Network Rail's stance that the West Coast Main Line cannot yet cope with extra services.

Today the Shropshire Star is calling for a solution to be found as soon as possible so that train passengers in the county get the train service they deserve.

An online petition was today set up and you can also have your say by sending your support by post.

Copies of the petition will be presented to officials from the ORR when they meet with county MPs about the issue of Shropshire's rail link in September.

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Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski has also pledged to present a formally-worded version of the petition to the House of Commons, urging the Department of Transport and the ORR to work with Network Rail and the train operators to ensure a regular and direct service from Shrewsbury to London is established as soon as possible.

The campaign has also won the cross-party support of other Shropshire MPs.

David Wright, Labour MP for Telford, said: "I'm delighted that the Shropshire Star is setting up this community campaign. I'm a strong supporter of the direct rail link between London and Shropshire and have been working with the other MP on this issue. It is great to have the Star on board.

"I hope we can show the ORR the strength of community feeling on this."

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Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, added: "I'm delighted the Shropshire Star is getting behind the campaign to restore a direct rail link to London. MPs will be working with the Star to try and persuade the ORR to change their minds.

"I encourage all my constituents to support the campaign."

Environment Secretary and North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson said he had been a long-standing campaigner for a direct service, dating back to the fight for the former Wrexham & Shropshire service.

"I strongly support any public move to put pressure on the relevant bodies to get Shropshire the direct rail link it deserves."

Philip Dunne, Tory MP for Ludlow, today urged his constituents to get behind the campaign. "I'm very happy to support this and I long campaigned for improved rail links to Shropshire," he said.

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