MP calls for reopening of railway line between Shrewsbury and Stafford
The railway line between Stafford and Shrewsbury should be reopened, Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard has said.
He has written to the Minister of State for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, to support the re-opening of the railway line between Stafford and Shrewsbury.
At the moment, passengers wishing to travel between the county towns of Shropshire and Staffordshire must travel via Wolverhampton or Crewe.
The Government’s £20 million New Stations Fund - part of the £500 million package to reverse the Beeching cuts – has made new investment available to re-open lines.
Mr Pritchard said: "The re-opening of the Stafford to Shrewsbury line would bring significant economic benefits to Shropshire.
"It cannot be right that passengers who want to travel to Stafford from Wellington or Newport have to take a lengthy detour via Wolverhampton.
"It is also essential that Newport has its own station with regular passenger services.
"Thanks to the Government’s promise to undo some of the Beeching cuts, we now have an opportunity to reconnect Shropshire’s towns with each other and with other major towns and cities across the UK.
"I will be encouraging Ministers to support Shropshire’s economy by re-opening this vital rail link.”
The Shrewsbury to Stafford line was first completed in 1849. Passenger services between Stafford and Wellington section ended in 1964 and freight services between Stafford and Newport closed in 1966.
In 2008, work began to re-instate a single-track two-mile stretch of the line in order to link Wellington and Telford International Freight Park.
In June 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies, in its report entitled ‘Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network’, called for the reopening of the line from Stafford to Wellington as part of a £500 million scheme to open 33 stations on 14 lines closed as a result of the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.
In 2011 the Shropshire, Telford and the Marches Strategic Rail Group voted to lobby government to provide £230 million to reopen the Shrewsbury to Stafford line and to build new stations serving Donnington and Newport.
Mr Pritchard has also added his name to a letter to the Minister of State for Transport which calls for the re-opening of the former Ironbridge power station railway.