To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to increase the (a) line speed and (b) services on the Birmingham-Black County-Shrewsbury route.
The Department is working with local stakeholders such as Midlands Connect to consider the suitability of options to reduce rail journey times on the section of line between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury.
Since the pandemic began West Midlands Trains has been operating one train per hour between Birmingham and Shrewsbury, with extra services at peak times, alongside the hourly Transport for Wales service. My officials are working with West Midlands Trains, Network Rail and the West Midlands Rail Executive to assess options for the best future service pattern to balance frequency, capacity and reliability for the route given the uncertainty in passenger demand caused by the pandemic.
In addition, Avanti West Coast provides a direct peak time return service from Shrewsbury and Telford to London via Birmingham.