Have your say over train services

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RAIL passengers are being asked to help shape the future of services to and from Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Shakespeare Line Promotion Group (SLPG) is running two surveys in which are asking people to set out their priorities for the new operator of Birmingham-bound services, West Midlands Trains Ltd, and Chiltern Railways, which runs trains to Leamington and London.

The passenger survey and separate business survey will be open at www.shakespeareline.com until the end of February, with the results set to be published in the spring.

SLPG secretary, Fraser Pithie, said: “We want as many people and local businesses as possible to take the time and tell us what is important to them and what they would like to see.

“We will use the results as the basis for our position and partnership with train operators and local authorities to improve railway services and help local people and local businesses.”

West Midlands Trains Ltd — a joint venture between Dutch firm Abellio, and the East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui and Co Ltd, both based in Japan — has already pledged to run more rush-hour commuter services from the town and refurbish the carriages after it took over the franchise from London Midland.

The company also confirmed to the Herald in August that it was a condition of its successful bid to the Department for Transport for the franchise that it talked to Vintage Trains about running more steam services along the line. Chiltern, however, dramatically reduced the number of direct trains between Stratford and London in 2015.

Stratford could get more direct train services to London by 2020 – full story in this Thursday’s Herald.