The pandemic has caused numerous challenges for us all and transport is one area that has been hit.
Over the last few months, residents have raised with me their frustration at the trains from Stoke-on-Trent to London being reduced, which has caused overcrowding on many of the remaining services. Additionally many of the services on the Crewe-Newark Line through Longton have been cancelled. I have lobbied both rail operators Avanti and EMR to fully restore services. As we are reopening our economy and asking people to get back out there and work, it is only right that people have access to reliable transport networks.
I have spoken to Avanti West Coast to push the case for us to see a return of two trains per hour from Stoke-on-Trent to Euston. I am pleased to say that I have now received confirmation from Avanti West Coast that the two trains per hour service will return as of December.
Avanti West Coast have informed me of the following:
"The current service pattern for Avanti West Coast services through Stoke continues through to December 2021, which means Stoke is expected to return to 2 trains per hour from December 2021. Our train service from September to December is in line with government guidance, and in collaboration with other operators, to ensure a balance for customers across our services."
I am very pleased to see that Avanti West Coast are returning this regular service to commuters and I am sure that this will come as welcoming news to all those who rely on this service.
I am also pleased to see following discussions I have had previously with EMR, they will also be restoring many of their local services through Stoke-on-Trent from 12 December.
We are not out of the woods with regards to the pandemic and winter could introduce potential challenges. I want to assure residents that I will continue to speak with train operators and the Department for Transport to ensure we see rail services continue to improve.