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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Avanti U-turn welcomed by Telford & Wrekin Council

The leader of Telford & Wrekin Council has welcomed the decision by Avanti West Coast to reinstate the direct daily train service from Shropshire to London Euston.

The U-turn follows pressure from Councillor Shaun Davies who expressed his surprise and disappointment when Avanti made the shock announcement they were removing the service, which starts in Shrewsbury and calls at Wellington and Telford Central, at the end of last week.

On Friday 12 August Councillor Davies wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport, calling for the government to urgently review and reverse the decision.

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However today Avanti has announced that resources have now been found to run the service.

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

“Avanti clearly made the wrong decision to suspend this service last week, putting additional pressure on Transport for Wales (TFW) and West Midlands Trains (WMT).   I made my position very clear, as did others, that this was totally unacceptable and a massive blow to Telford and Shropshire.

“Whilst I am very pleased that Avanti have clearly listened to our concerns and have reinstated the service, I’m disappointed they made a poor decision in the first place without notice or indeed consultation. If this had not been challenged our residents would have been left with no direct service to London.

“We are on the side of local people and will continue to confront anything that disadvantages them.”

Councillor Richard Overton (Lab), deputy leader and cabinet member for transport, added:

“It’s very good news that Avanti have now found the resources to reinstate the direct service between Wellington and London. It was the wrong decision, undermining confidence in rail travel, and it must not happen again.

“Indeed we need to improve the service further and we are calling for the second direct train to London, that stopped running before the pandemic, to be put back into action.  We know that a direct rail service to the capital is important for so many people, for those who need it for work and also for day trippers.

“Additionally we will continue to campaign for a better service to Birmingham, as well as the urgent electrification of the line, so that more people can use efficient and effective trains and benefit from improved public transport links to the city.”

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