Daniel Kawczynski, the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, is ramping up an ongoing campaign to provide a direct train from Shrewsbury to London.
Mr Kawczynski has been in talks with the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, pressing for the reintroduction of a direct rail service from the county town to the nation’s capital, and raised the issue with David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons..
No long running service for 45 years
Shrewsbury is currently the only county town in England without a direct rail link to London, and has been without one for 45 years, apart from the short-lived Wrexham and Shropshire service, which ceased in January 2011 and lasted less than three years despite receiving a 99 per cent customer satisfaction rating in an independent survey.
Mr Kawczynski, who has campaigned alongside fellow Shropshire MPs Owen Paterson, Philip Dunne, and Mark Pritchard for the reintroduction of the link since the previous service was withdrawn last year, is now calling on Shropshire residents and businesses to send him messages of support for the Shrewsbury-London link, which he will then pass on Transport Secretary to consider when evaluating the upcoming bids for rail services.
Main Line, Virgin, First Group, Abeillo, and Keolis are all in negotiations over the next 15-year franchise for the West Coast Main Line that passes through Shrewsbury, and are reportedly open to the idea of a direct link given sufficient public support.
He said: “Frankly it is outrageous that we do not have this service already, and I am doing my utmost to help secure the direct link that Shrewsbury and Shropshire deserves.
"The lack of a train from London is a significant disincentive for potential tourism and business prospects, and represents a missed opportunity to bring more visitors to our wonderful annual flower show, not to mention Shrewsbury and Atcham’s other fantastic events.
“We must show the Secretary of State how important this service is to Shrewsbury and Shropshire, which is why I’m asking everyone to please write a letter or email urging her to consider a direct service in the coming 15-year contract decision in August.
“Along with my fellow Shropshire MPs Owen Paterson, Philip Dunne, and Mark Pritchard, I will continue to strongly state the case to both the Transport Secretary and the Prime Minister in the weeks to come, but we also need a demonstration of the strong public support that I regularly hear from the local business and tourism communities.
"I’d urge any Shrewsbury resident to forward their support for the link by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post to my constituency office, Benbow Business Park, Harlescott Lane, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 3FA, and I will ensure they are all passed on to the Department for Transport,” Mr Kawczynski concluded.]]>
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