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West Northamptonshire agrees aspirations for future rail services

Parking, roads and transport

19 July 2022

Railway track junction

Councillors have set out aspirations for faster and more frequent local trains for West Northamptonshire residents as they embark upon discussions with rail operators to shape future services ahead of HS2.

West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet recently agreed a ‘shopping list’ for how they want to see rail services improved at Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby and Milton Keynes stations, to help guide ongoing talks with the West Coast Partnership (WCP) which operates the West Coast Mainline.

Phase one of HS2, now under construction and scheduled to open in stages between 2029 and 2034, will take long distance city-to-city traffic away from the southern end of the West Coast Main line and free up capacity for services to stations serving West Northants.

The Government’s Department for Transport (DfT), which is responsible for future consultation on rail services, has sanctioned a move by WNC to hold ongoing discussions directly with WCP, to influence the shaping of future proposals for the rail line once HS2 is completed.

Moving forward these talks for West Northamptonshire is Cllr William Barter, WNC’s Assistant Cabinet Member for environment, transport, highways, and waste, who said: “It may seem a long way off, but the decisions we make now will have far reaching implications and it is important the people of West Northants have their needs heard.

"Currently, rail services for our local area take second place to the long-distance trains, which means our local services are less frequent and have longer journey times than we would like.

"With HS2 on its way to divert city-to-city travel and the West Coast Partnership already beginning its work to advise the DfT on future local service patterns, it’s crucial our Council is also around the table and able to influence these future proposals.

"This is a real opportunity to influence emerging proposals in favour of West Northamptonshire and our aspirations agreed by Cabinet will underpin all our efforts in doing so."

You can view the rail aspirations set by WNC and further information within the recent Cabinet report.

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