Shropshire Star

Apathy among Shrewsbury residents as rail link to London scrapped

After hearing about the scrapping of the direct train service from Shropshire to London, I went to Shrewsbury to see how people felt, writes Megan Jones.

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Shrewsbury railway station

Right now, Shropshire has two direct trains to London Euston daily, which service Shrewsbury, Wellington and Telford stations.

But in June, the Avanti West Coast service will be no more. According to the Department for Transport, falling passenger numbers meant the service was losing £1.4 million a year.

'Falling' feels like an understatement, if their claim that only 40 to 60 people were using the service each day is true.

Shrewsbury railway station

If I wanted to get the direct train from Shrewsbury to London tomorrow, the one-way, almost three-hour journey would set me back a whopping £70.40. Planning ahead, a booking for early March would cost £49.60.

Return tickets don't make the journey a whole lot cheaper. Tomorrow I'm looking at £136.60, in March - £94.

For context, my car, a little Fiat Panda, works out at around 15p a mile. The 159-mile journey from Shrewsbury station to London Euston, according to Google, would take around three hours and twenty minutes at time of writing (4.15pm).

That's £23.85 each way. Of course, that's not taking into account parking costs, congestion zones etc - but I think I'm still making my point.

It's not fast and it's not cheap. Even if it is on time it doesn't get you into London in time for a nine-to-five office day.