Network Rail is holding its fourth round of consultation meetings in Staffordshire to give members of the public their final opportunity to comment on plans to improve the track layout on the west coast main line, the key rail line connecting London, Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland.
Last year, a preferred scheme was announced which included plans for a new flyover to take Birmingham to Manchester trains up and over the main line rather than across it. Separating the path of train services like this will improve reliability and allow more trains to run on the route.
The investment will provide:
Two extra fast trains per hour between London and the north west
One additional train per hour between Manchester (via Stone) and Birmingham
One additional freight train per hour through Stafford
A second round of public consultation was held in October last year to explore details about construction, road diversions and footpath alterations.
A further round of consultation on road and footpath diversions took place in April and detailed plans have now been developed.
Network Rail is holding this series of public exhibitions so members of the local community will have an opportunity to speak to Network Rail staff, view the plans and give feedback ahead of the submission of the plans to the national infrastructure planning unit in December.
Once this round of consultation is complete, a final series of information events is planned so the local community know exactly what is being submitted.
For more information on the scheme you can visit the website at www.networkrail.co.uk/Stafford-NortonBridge or attend one of the public exhibitions below:
Wednesday 20 June, 4-7pm
Stafford Railway Station, Station Road,
Stafford, ST16 2AA
Thursday 21 June, 2-6pm
Great Bridgeford Village Hall,
Newport Road, Great Bridgeford,
Tuesday 26 June, 11am-3pm
Yarnfield Village Hall, Meece Road,
Yarnfield, ST15 0NR
Wednesday 27 June 3-7pm
St Luke’s Church, Station Road,
Norton Bridge, Stafford
Thursday 28 June, 11am-3pm
Chebsey Village Hall, School Lane,
Chebsey, Stafford, ST21 6JU
Friday 29 June, 11am-3pm
Walton Community Centre, Whitemill Lane,
Stone, ST15 0EQ
Birmingham to Manchester trains leave the main line at Norton Bridge to continue their journeys to Stoke, Macclesfield, Stockport and then Manchester. While they cross this busy junction, trains travelling to and from destinations such as Liverpool, Preston, the Lake District, Carlisle and Scotland cannot pass through the Norton Bridge area. This reduces train speeds and has the potential to cause delays that can have a knock-on effect in other parts of the network.