Rail improvements set to support jobs and growth in Telford and Wrekin

A feasibility study outlining improvements to the Shrewsbury to Birmingham railway line has been welcomed by Telford & Wrekin Council today.

Rail improvements set to support jobs and growth in Telford and Wrekin

The study, launched by Midlands Connect, outlines plans to invest an estimated £140 million in more trains, faster journey times and greener travel using carbon neutral electric lines instead of diesel powered trains.

Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Councillor Shaun Davies said: “As a council, we’ve been calling for improvements to the line for some time. 

We’ve supported Midlands Connect with the development of the study and so I am thrilled to see that we’ve reached this critical first milestone in the scheme’s development.

The pandemic has posed huge challenges for our local economy, as it has across the country. 

More trains, which are cleaner and faster will support a green recovery for the borough, opening up job opportunities for local residents in Wolverhampton, Birmingham and London, but just as importantly, enabling people from surrounding areas to bring vital skills to employers in Telford and Wrekin.

The impact that the scheme could have on our local economy makes the case for investment a very strong one.”

Cabinet Member for Economy, Housing, Transport and Infrastructure, Councillor David Wright added: “Today’s announcement is all part of our wider ambition to support the local economy, create jobs and keep Telford and Wrekin moving.  

Schemes like this do take time, and there is some way to go, but this is a significant investment for our future.

We’ll now be working with Midlands Connect and other partners towards an Outline Business Case, a process which will take around 18-24 months. ”

The feasibility study suggests that trains from Telford and Wellington to Birmingham could increase from three to four per hour, as well as a direct hourly service to London. 

The journey from Shrewsbury to Birmingham would also be quicker, going from 56 minutes to 45 minutes.

If the Outline Business Case is approved by the Department for Transport, funding would be provided to move through statutory and regulatory processes, including public consultation, environmental surveys. Preliminary designs and submission of a planning application before a Full Business Case is drawn up.

On approval of the Full Business Case, work to deliver the scheme can start.