MP demands third direct Shrewsbury-to-London rail service
Shrewsbury should get a third daily direct train service to London, the town's MP has said, while calls have been repeated for the service to be extended to north Shropshire.
Direct train services to the capital should be stepped up as passenger figures have exceeded all expectations, says Daniel Kawczynski.
Virgin Trains currently runs a twice daily service from Shrewsbury to London Euston but Mr Kawczynski is keen to see this increased to three trains a day.
The service is popular with commuters catching the 6.39am direct train which gets in to London at 9.13am.
Mr Kawczynski said: "The service has exceeded all expectations and is a great success.
"We now have investment of £9 million going in to Shrewsbury Railway Station. I am now approaching Virgin to ask what plans they have to increase frequency of the service to three times a day due to passenger numbers."
In 2017, North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson called for the direct service to be extended beyond Shrewsbury to Gobowen, near Oswestry and Chirk and on to Wrexham and Chester.
But at the time Virgin Trains representatives told him that this would prove difficult due to 'logistical reasons'.
Mr Paterson has already had talks with the Welsh Assembly Transport Minister to get cross border co-operation.
Today he backed Mr Kawczynski's bid to see a third direct train to Shrewsbury on the timetable.
"I am fully supportive on the move and hope we can soon get that service to push into the north of the county.
"When the new West Coast Mainline franchise is out to tender I will be pushing for it to have to be extended from Shrewsbury to Wrexham and Chester.
"The Welsh transport minister, Ken Skates is keen to continuing talks to see how this can be brought about."
The direct train service between Shrewsbury and London Euston was re-introduced in 2014 after a four year break.
A petition launched by the Shropshire Star, signed by more than 3,000 people, was presented in Parliament by Mr Kawczynski in a bid to get the service reinstated.