To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the (a) reliability of and (b) level of priority allocated to railway services running between (i) Wolverhampton and (ii) Shrewsbury.
Recent levels of reliability on railway services through Shrewsbury have not been acceptable due to a combination of train and infrastructure issues. Train issues have resulted from Transport for Wales (TfW) recently having to withdraw one of its fleets for safety checks, and from West Midlands Trains (WMT) introducing a new fleet on this route which (in common with all new fleets) is taking a while to reach the required levels of reliability.
In addition, there has been an increase in infrastructure issues, some caused by cable theft, and Network Rail has deployed mitigating measures such as enhanced patrols as a result.
The Department and West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) are closely working with WMT and officials from TfW on these issues. I am assured good progress has been made and improvements in services should be seen by passengers shortly.