One train an hour between Wolverhampton and Birmingham is to be axed under a timetable shake-up at the end of the year, it can be revealed today.
Virgin Trains is dropping services that leave Wolverhampton around half past the hour from December.
It is part of the company’s annual review of its timetables. The aim is to improve services connecting London and Scotland by allowing more direct services.
The train that will be axed is one that goes from either Glasgow or Edinburgh to Birmingham, via Wolverhampton.
Virgin Trains spokesman Richard Stanton said: “We are merging our Euston to Wolverhampton with our Anglo-Scottish service. We’re putting extra capacity and more seats on the trains north of Wolverhampton and vastly improving journeys in the north, although this does mean losing one train an hour.
“What this means is that more people south of Birmingham can travel by train to the north west.
“Wolverhampton still has its direct services to London which go via Birmingham and leave at 45 minutes past the hour so there was only 10 minutes between them.”
Services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham are also covered by operators such as London Midland.
Wolverhampton City Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Peter Bilson, said he was disappointed. He said: “I can understand where they are coming from but it is nevertheless disappointing that it’s Wolverhampton losing a service.
“I would always argue for more services to increase the opportunities for commuters to travel by train.”
It comes as transport authority Centro is trying to get companies within the rail industry to back the rebuild of Wolverhampton rail station. It says it needs to raise £110 million for the work, including a £15m scheme to extend the Midland Metro from its current St George’s terminus, down Pipers Row and Railway Drive to link it up with the rail station.
Meanwhile, council leaders are concerned over plans that would scrap the direct service between Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley and London if high speed rail goes ahead.