A RALLYING call has gone out to all rail users across the district to have their say on a consultation in a bid to get a better southbound service from Bromsgrove Station.
The call from Bromsgrove Rail User Group comes a week before the vast improvements to the northbound service are introduced when four trains an hour – three electric and one diesel – will operate between the town and Birmingham providing hundreds more seats per hour.
That was a culmination of 12 years of lobbying from BRUG to get the new £24million station which opened on July 12, 2016.
BRUG chair Mike Ponsonby said: “This all new rail service to the north will do nothing for the nigh-on impossible service south from Bromsgrove to Cheltenham, for connection with long distance trains to the South West.”
The Department for Transport Rail is now inviting all Bromsgrove residents to voice their opinions on the Cross-Country services and the necessity of trains to Cheltenham which would negate the need for passengers to go via Birmingham New Street to head south.
Presently there are 94 trains a day passing through Bromsgrove Station going north and south.
Now BRUG is calling for some of those trains to stop at Bromsgrove to improve the rail links.
And Mr Ponsonby said members had identified three trains – two in the morning and one in the evening – which could easily stop without causing any disruption to their current journeys.
“When you stop a train you need a certain safety headway before the next train comes along and the three we have identified have headways of at least 20 minutes.”
The services in question are the 6.29am from Birmingham New Street to Paignton and the 6.49am from the Second City to Exeter.
Another train in the evening is in the same situation.
“We have also recorded that many of these southbound trains are ‘lightly-loaded’ and need more passengers to support the cost-effectiveness of running these services.
“This is a once in a decade opportunity.
“Everyone giving their views to the DfT could result in us getting regular trains to the south as we had at the start of this century.
“It is pointless in having an all new £24million station, if the trains only go north.
“What we now need is a southbound train Service for improved connectivity at Cheltenham, the hub for all trains to Devon and Cornwall.”
Rail users can visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/cross-country-rail-franchise to have their say on the consultation.