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Quick, reliable and comfortable rail services allow businesses to attract and access a wider pool of skilled workers, giving people more choice over where they live and work.
However, services on the Shrewsbury-Black Country-Birmingham corridor are slow and often unreliable and overcrowded. To support the economy, we must build in more capacity to make space for new services.
Network Rail forecasts that, without intervention, the corridor will soon be subject to "acute overcrowding". We are working with West Midlands Rail Executive to examine the case for increasing services on the corridor from three to four per hour, made possible by capacity released post-HS2.
These plans could introduce a direct, hourly service from Shrewsbury, Telford and Wellington to London, as well as doubling services to Birmingham International.
Our work will also examine the economic case for speeding up Shrewsbury-Birmingham services from 56 minutes to 45 minutes, via track upgrades and possible electrification.
Shrewsbury-Birmingham journey time saving
Estimated capital cost of improvements
A feasibility study is due for completion in 2020. The estimated capital cost of delivering improvements is an estimated £200 million.
Gill Hamer, director of Marches LEP