Anger as Virgin Trains axes Shrewsbury-London service plans

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A Shropshire MP has said he is "angry and disappointed" after Virgin Trains scrapped plans for a direct rail service between Shrewsbury and London.

Virgin had planned to start a service to Euston in May but said proposed time slots were not "economically viable".

Shrewsbury and Atcham Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski said the decision was a "devastating blow" to the town.

A 4,000-name petition calling for the service to be restarted was presented to Parliament in October.

Mr Kawczynski said: "We've been working on this for two and half years and I'm concerned that Network Rail and Virgin Trains have not been about to get a sustainable service on this line.

'Bang heads'

"Not having a direct link to London impacts on tourism and inward investment and this can't be allowed to continue."

He said he would be speaking to the secretary of state for transport to organise a meeting next week "to bang some heads together".

Telford Labour MP David Wright said: "The whole thing has been a bit of a shambles.

"We've had this debate for too long, we keep getting commitments from train companies and ministers but people just want a definitive answer."

Martin Bond, from the Crewe and Shrewsbury Passenger Association (CASPA) said: "It's incredibly disappointing that its been knocked back again.

"Passengers in Shrewsbury need this service. We know the line is close to capacity but I'm told with timetables being changed in a year or so that [change] could make room."

Passenger group Passenger Focus said people in the county would be disappointed that efforts to "reintroduce through trains to and from London have failed again".

Its senior passenger manager, Linda McCord, said: "We urge Virgin Trains and Network Rail to continue exploring how the service can be run at times of the day which will prove attractive to passengers."

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