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£2.5m government funding set to improve CrossCountry

Announced today (Feb 24th) by the Rail Minister a £2.5m investment is set to benefit passengers across CrossCountry rail services.

From May 2020, passengers travelling from Birmingham to Nottingham, Leicester and Cardiff will start to see longer trains on some services, delivering more than 5,000 more seats each week.

With an additional 15,000 seats per week planned to be put in place from mid-2021, including to and from Cambridge and Stanstead Airport to support to region’s commuters, businesses and leisure travellers.

The Department for Transport and CrossCountry finalised plans to deliver more seats on long distance routes each week from December 2020. Longer trains will operate on some services on Mondays to Thursdays on the routes from Scotland, the North East and Manchester to the South West and the South Coast.

The funding will allow the DfT and CrossCountry to help tackle overcrowding on services. Work has began to further improvements in the years to come when more rolling stock will be available, especially for longer distance routes that Cross Country serves.

Investment in more seating will allow passengers to reserve a seat on most services to ensure they can travel in comfort, as well as being able to reserve a space for their bike. The investment will also improve communication and signage, pointing to places where luggage can be stored during a journey, both when travelling as they board the train.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Investing in transport is essential to levelling up the country, as we look to modernise our rail network and restructure the industry to put passengers at the heart of the railway.

“But we want to fund benefits to address pressing needs and improve journeys for passengers in the short-term, as well as in the future. More seats mean more people can travel, increasing access to opportunities and better connecting our regions.”

Tom Joyner, CrossCountry’s Managing Director said: “We are delighted to now be able to get on and deliver these benefits for our customers, with improvements to the journey experience and 3 new community groups to bring our train services closer to the places we serve.

“Most importantly, many of our trains have become increasingly busy as more and more people choose rail for their journeys.

“This delivers the biggest increase in seats for our services in more than 13 years, helping customers enjoy a relaxing and comfortable journey every day. These improvements will deliver an immediate boost for rail users in the Midlands, with the promise of even more to come on other routes in the near future.”


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