Boost for commuters as 5,000 more train seats announced

Passengers travelling between Birmingham to Nottingham, Leicester and Cardiff will see longer trains introduced from May, according to the Government.

Commuters on CrossCountry will benefit from a £2.5m investment announced by the Rail Minister today (24 February).

The Government says the move will bring forward 5,000 more seats a week, with a further 15,000 seats a week planned from mid-2021.

The £2.5 million new government funding was agreed by the DfT and CrossCountry to help tackle overcrowding. Work is underway on further improvements in the years to come when more rolling stock will be available, especially for longer distance routes that Cross Country serves.

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.”

Investment will also be made to expand CrossCountry’s seat reservation service to allow passengers to reserve a seat on most services

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