Telford MP backs call to reopen Ironbridge to Birmingham rail link

Telford's MP has thrown her weight behind a campaign to reopen a railway linking Ironbridge and Birmingham as part of the work on the power station site.

Lucy Allan says it will help preserve the area's heritage through regeneration and support tourism.

Councillor Eric Carter, who is chairman of the Marches Strategic Rail Group and borough councillor for Newport South and East, made a call for the move last month, saying it would be "foolish” to ignore the chance to reconnect the line.

Now, Ms Allan has voiced her support for the scheme and says she intends to write to Network Rail and the new owners of the power station site, offering her help.

Development company Harworth Group has bought the Ironbridge power station site for an undisclosed sum.

Guests leave the first Sunday passenger train into the new Coalbrookdale station in 1979

The developer plans to build "several hundred” homes on the 350-acre site, and will utilise parts of the area for commercial and leisure uses.

Ms Allan said: "Connecting Ironbridge to Birmingham and the rest of the UK will not only increase connectivity and boost productivity but will also preserve the area's heritage through regeneration.

"It is important to improve rail links in Telford including Ironbridge which attracts many visitors every year.

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"I will be writing to Network Rail and to the new owners of the Power Station, the Harworth Group to express my support for this initiative and offer my help.”

Councillor Carter said it would be a "massive boost" to the Gorge.

He said the line could link to a park and ride facility into Ironbridge itself, cutting down on the amount of people driving into the area.

Councillor Nicola Lowery, ward member for the Ironbridge Gorge, also wants a rail link reintroduced.

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The line has been used for passengers from Birmingham to Ironbridge in the past.

On May 27, 1979 the first train to Coalbrookdale from Birmingham ran as part of the Ironbridge bicentenary programme.

It was the first time there had been a scheduled passenger train along the line since 1962.




Date: 21 July 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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