‘Dismay’ amongst passengers amid proposed train changes affecting Wrexham

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Members of the Shrewsbury-Chester Rail Users’ Association (SCRUA) are campaigning to save the 8.09am Gobowen service to Birmingham International which serves the city, airport and NEC as well as Telford and Wolverhampton.

The line from Chester to Birmingham also heads through Wrexham and is the main line for travel to Shrewsbury.

SCRUA say Transport for Wales has made proposals to bring the timing of the service forward by 15 minutes and run the train to Cardiff via Shrewsbury.

This would result in passengers travelling to stations enroute to Birmingham needing to change at Shrewsbury.

SCRUA volunteers have been canvassing opinions and have spoken to over 40 passengers, travelling on the 0809 from Gobowen.

They say there has been “dismay” at the proposed changes with the overwhelming majority being opposed to the both the retiming and rerouting. This is irrespective of whether they were travelling to Shrewsbury or beyond.

Steve Boulding, chair of SCRUA said: “This is not the first time that we have needed to campaign to protect services in England run by Transport for Wales.

“The 0809 is a popular service for those travelling through to Birmingham stations, not to mention the principal stations in between. Indeed, none of the passengers we spoke to were heading towards Cardiff or west Wales.

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“Passengers described the extra hassle of a change at an already busy station, the potential for further delays and cancellation, a lack of seats and workspaces on what may prove to be a shorter train.

“Those travelling with luggage, especially the elderly were particularly keen to preserve the current arrangement.

“We trust that Transport for Wales will understand importance to the local economy and passengers of preserving this service to Birmingham.”

A spokesperson for Transport for Wales said: “December will see a number of operational changes to mainline services around our network and we are doing what we can to minimise the impact on customers.

“We understand the concerns raised by the rail user association and will be reviewing demand levels and feedback from the consultation.”

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