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District council back rail changes

Stratford-upon-Avon Railway Station.
Stratford-upon-Avon Railway Station.

MOVES to restore more regular direct rail services between Stratford and London have been supported by Stratford-on-Avon District Council.

The authority has gone one step further by suggesting companies interested in the new Great Western Franchise should include the potential to reinstate the line through to Honeybourne in their bids.

The Herald reported recently how the Department for Transport (DfT) is keen on extending the current Great Western Railway franchise into Stratford when it comes up for renewal.

The London Paddington line currently ends at Banbury.

Stratford is currently linked to London on the Chiltern line into Marylebone, but in 2015 all but a handful of direct services were withdrawn.

In its response to the consultation on the franchise tender document, the district council said: “The council would wish to see the Great Western franchise extended to Stratford.

“The district council has commissioned a study to consider the provision of a rail shuttle service between Long Marston Airfield Garden Village and Honeybourne station, the franchise could usefully include reference to this potential shuttle service.”

It adds: “In the light of the above, the future GWR franchise train service requirement could require bidders to provide costed options for the reinstatement of passenger services initially between Honeybourne and Long Marston Airfield with subsequent extensions to Stratford Racecourse and ultimately Stratford station.”

To read the response in full CLICK HERE

The Shakespeare Line Promotion Group (SLPG), which also supports Stratford’s switch to the GWR franchise, ‘wholeheartedly welcome’ the council’s stance. The group’s online survey of businesses and commuters can be completed at www.shakespeareline.com

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