Politicians from East Staffordshire have met with the Rail Minister to demand improvements to the Derby to Stoke line which runs through Uttoxeter. Uttoxeter’s MP Andrew Griffiths, along with the Leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, Cllr. Richard Grosvenor, Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Cllr. Mark Winnington, and Deputy Leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, Cllr. Jacqui Jones took their case to the Minister Paul Maynard MP at the Department for Transport’s offices in London.
They urged the Rail Minister for more carriages and more frequent train services on the Derby to Stoke line, as passengers frequently only see one-coach trains. This is a particular problem when it comes to race days at Uttoxeter race course where the rail service through the town makes it impossible to reach Uttoxeter by train before 2.30pm on Sundays.
Andrew said: “It is unacceptable that Uttoxeter residents as well as the economy and the race course should be negatively affected because of the poor train service on the line which I know is a real pain to passengers. We are urging the Rail Minister to ensure the future operator of that line improves the service and commits to more trains if they expect to be successful in winning the franchise.”
Cllr. Richard Grosvenor said: “There is also a safety aspect to be looked at here with serious overcrowding on the one-coach trains as well as the station platform. The meeting with the Minister was encouraging and I hope that we will now see progress.”
Cllr. Mark Winnington added: “This was a very positive meeting and it was great to see the Minister so keen to hear what we had to say. This change would bring welcome benefits to Uttoxeter’s economy and the race course.”
Cllr. Jacqui Jones said: “With the franchise up for renewal it is crucial that the voice of Uttoxeter is heard and that any new rail provider commits to delivering the improvements we all want to see.”
The area’s politicians also called on the Minister to reject any bid from East Midlands Trains to continue to operate the East Midlands line if they failed to commit to also improving Burton’s station.