Monday 20 May 2024
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Rail: Trains from Nottingham to Birmingham every 30 minutes in plans for faster services

An Inter-City type service from Nottingham and Derby to Birmingham is among regional rail service improvements being considered by operators.

A range of improvements to West Midlands links under consideration would cut journey times, increase the frequency of trains and make Nottinghamshire more accessible to freight on the south coast.

Nottingham City Council’s Joint Committee on Strategic Planning and Transport was told on Friday (April 12) “the business case is looking very positive.”

The Birmingham link improvement plan could lead to trains on the route every 30 minutes, some of which would skip smaller stations to give better journey times.

East Midlands Railway or West Midlands Railway would then take over services to local stations.

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Midlands Connect are also looking into developing a through rail service on the Nottingham – Leicester – Coventry corridor, with hourly passenger services.

Council officers said the level of rail travel between these cities was much lower than expected given their geographic proximity.

The line would also make it easier for freight from the south coast to reach the East Midlands.

Councillor Sam Harris (Lab) said: “I welcome change in services as a regular user of the Nottingham-Birmingham route, as I know how overcrowded and complicated they are. Passengers would like to see extra services and capacity.”

Discussions are taking place with the universities in these areas, who see better rail links as a chance to boost academic cooperation and make themselves more attractive to students.

Councillor Michael Edwards (Lab) added: “It’s vital that we get rail links which can service our hospital and universities. We’ve got to emphasise how important that is.”

The East and West Midlands will receive a total of £9.6bn after the HS2 line was cancelled north of Birmingham.

The government’s new ‘Network North’ vision instead included quicker trips between Nottingham and Newark, halving journey times to Leeds, and the potential for an expanded tram network.

The new elected Mayor of the new East Midlands Combined County Authority will also have a £1.5 billion budget to spend on transport from May.

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