A NEW strategy for local train services could benefit local commuters greatly, with more trains running between Hereford and Birmingham, via Ledbury station.

Herefordshire Council has welcomed what it calls “a revolution in rail services” across the West Midlands, outlined in a new 30 year investment strategy plan.

Cllr Barry Durkin, Cabinet member transport and regulatory services, said:

“We are delighted with this highly ambitious strategy to overhaul local rail services, which will improve Herefordshire’s connectivity with our neighbours and provide more frequent, more punctual and more comfortable train services.

“We are particularly determined to improve the services between Hereford and Birmingham, and aspire to have two trains per hour between the two cities.”

Cllr Durkin added: “The council is a member of the West Midlands Rail Executive and we have provided a strong influence on the Rail Investment Strategy to ensure it meets our own ambitions for delivering improvements to rail travel in Herefordshire.”

The Rail Investment Strategy, published by the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), sets out short, medium and long-term plans to provide improved rail services across the whole region.

The Strategy “sets out a clear target to achieve regular high frequency services of two, four or six trains an hour at all stations, with busy urban stations receiving a service every ten minutes and quieter local stations at least every half hour during the day”.

In the medium-term, the strategy builds on the benefits HS2 will bring to the region and supports the Midlands Rail Hub proposals being developed by Midlands Connect.

Chair of the West Midlands Rail Executive, Roger Lawrence said:

“We are delighted to launch our strategy for delivering better rail services across the whole region over the next thirty years.

“We very much appreciate the time and effort which our partners and stakeholder consultees put into developing their responses.”