Disappointment that latest rail plan ignores borough

Telford & Wrekin Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies has expressed his disappointed that the government’s Integrated Rail Plan offers no investment for the borough and no evidence of ‘levelling up’ for Telford and Wrekin residents.

On Thursday (18 November) the government released their Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands which outlines investment into rail services in the region.

Councillor Shaun Davies said:

“This latest investment fails to demonstrate any benefit to anywhere west of Birmingham.Indeed, in a 162 page document, there is not a single reference to Telford and Wrekin or Shropshire and only two to Wolverhampton.

“The plan outlines that 75% of the main lines will be electrified, however, there is still no reference to our line from Wellington to Birmingham.

Under the latest plan, access to HS2 for Telford residents would see residents needing to drive to Stafford or travel by train to Birmingham then walk 8-10 mins to Curzon Street.

“Despite consultation taking place in 2014 it is also frustrating to see that the Secretary of State for Transport has asked for more time to make a final decision on whether to continue with the proposal to improve the link between the M54 and M6 which is critical not only to our borough but to the wider economy.

“My team, the council and I have been campaigning for this investment for 10 years now. We need action.

“Better connectivity means better jobs for local people, so it is bitterly disappointing to see another opportunity to level up for Telford and Wrekin missed.

“This isn't levelling up, this is doubling down on regional inequalities".