West Midlands Rail Executive has announced that they have signed a new partnership with Virgin Trains and the Transport for West Midlands, which pledges to improve rail journeys in the region.
Virgin Trains, which operates stations at Coventry, Birmingham International, Rugby, Stoke on Trent and Stafford, has said it is committed to continuing supporting initiatives such as installing cycle hubs, which allow passengers to cycle to the station and leave them securely.
Virgin Trains will also be making it easier for passengers to use sustainable transport to travel to and from stations.
They will also be working with football clubs in the local area and British Transport Police to keep passengers moving safely on match days.
Transport for West Midlands is set to launch the NextBike Scheme, which is the largest bike share scheme outside of London.
The agreement comes after TfWM and West Midlands Rail Executive renewed a long-standing agreement with Chiltern Railways.
What did the officials say?
Cllr Roger Lawrence, portfolio holder for transport at West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and chair of the West Midlands Rail Executive, said:
“This agreement underlines our commitment to work with network and transport operators in the region to improve people’s journeys.
“We’re particularly pleased Virgin Trains agrees our focus on sustainable transport, especially cycling to stations, is a good way to promote environmentally-friendly and healthy travel choices.
“We are working hard to bring organisations together, to forge partnerships and keep everybody working to ensure train travel is an attractive choice for people living in and travelling to and from the region.”
Amanda Hines, general manager for Virgin Trains in the West Midlands, said:
“We have been proud to serve the West Midlands for the past 21 years. In that time services on the west coast route have been transformed with a number of industry leading initiatives such as Automatic Delay Repay, the roll out of m-tickets and the launch of BEAM, our free entertainment service.
“We look forward to forging stronger relationships with the West Midlands Rail Executive, TfWM and other industry partners, working as one team to strengthen our support for the local economy and the communities we serve.
“Our stations, and the railway, should to be part of the answer and not a barrier to local needs, by providing the associated connectivity required to enhance economic growth and provide access, both inward and outward, for employment, business and leisure.”
Cllr Roger Horton, lead member for rail and Metro on WMCA’s transport delivery committee, said:
“We’re delighted that Virgin Trains has signed up to an ongoing partnership agreement to outline its commitment to a sustainable, healthy region.
“We are working hard to represent passengers by creating links with the rail industry to ensure they have a clear focus and shared aims in the West Midlands.
“This agreement represents our latest success in this respect – and we look forward to signing many more of these with other operators in the future.”
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