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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Avanti West Coast suspends direct train services from Shropshire to London

Direct rail services from Shropshire to London have been cut from Avanti West Coast’s services as part of timetable changes.

Wellington Railway Station. Photo: Telford & Wrekin Council
Wellington Railway Station. Photo: Telford & Wrekin Council

In a statement, Avanti West Coast said it was suspending ticket sales on direct services from 14 August to 11 September while a new timetable is finalised.

The leader of Telford & Wrekin Council has expressed his extreme disappointment at the decision.

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Councillor Shaun Davies says the announcement of the suspension of the service came with no notice, no consultation and no date by which the service will be restored.

Councillor Shaun Davies (Lab), leader of Telford &Wrekin Council, said:

“We are extremely disappointed by Avanti West Coast’s decision to remove the direct Wellington to London and London to Wellington services as part of their new timetable.

“Once again, the people of Telford and Wrekin are forgotten by those outside of the borough. We will continue to fight for our local residents to ensure that they are not disadvantaged like this.

“We are on the side of local people and know that the direct rail service to the capital is important for so many people, for those who need it for work and also for day trippers.

“We have written today to the Secretary of State calling for the government to urgently review and reverse this decision.

“We support the call from other local government leaders up and down the Avanti West Coast line for an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State, their officials and Avanti’s management to agree a date for full restoration of the timetable.”

Avanti’s decision puts further pressure on existing Transport for Wales (TFW) and West Midlands Trains (WMT) services, with the latter still operating a reduced timetable, as the third train an hour has still not been reinstated.

This latest decision also further undermines confidence in rail travel, making it harder for people to use the train, at a time when people should be encouraged to travel by rail.

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