In my last column I provided an update on the Chase Line, and specifically the December timetable change which will see the last service from Birmingham go all the way through to the Rugeley stations. Great news for Rugeley passengers!
This week I wanted to provide a further update following a recent visit by the Rail Minister, Huw Merriman MP.
I was very pleased to welcome Huw to Cannock Chase and take a journey along the Chase Line to discuss the new timetable, accessibility issues at the Rugeley stations and other issues passengers face.
The tour started at Rugeley Trent Valley station where I outlined the accessibility issues passengers face if they are using the northbound or Chase Line platforms, setting out the need to replace the footbridge. I also discussed the need to address the dangerous car parking access at the station.
We boarded a train with the next stop being Rugeley Town station, so the Minister could also see first-hand the accessibility issues at this station. To demonstrate the point, I took Huw on the walk between the two platforms if you are unable to use the footbridge.
We continued our journey down the Chase Line via Hednesford and Cannock. As we travelled along the line, I was able to explain to the Minister the ongoing issues of fare evasion and anti-social behaviour and the need to address these problems. These issues are often raised with me by constituents and are ones that I raised with the Minister in a meeting earlier this year.
The visit was a great opportunity for the Minister to see and experience for himself some of these issues I have raised with him previously.
While it was a very productive and insightful visit, and the timetable changes which will come into force in December is great news, the work doesn’t stop here! I will continue to press for improvements to our train stations and services. If you do use our train services, please do get in contact about any issues that you face. I will happily raise these with the appropriate organisation, whether this be West Midlands Trains or Network Rail or, of course, the Minister.
As always, if you require my help with anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail at Amanda.email@example.com or by telephone on 01543 877142.