Midlands businesses back reintroduction of abandoned rail link

A majority of local businesses would support the reintroduction of a direct rail link between Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham, a new survey has revealed.

Midlands Connect has proposed to reinstate direct rail services between the three cities for the first time in two decades, opening up over two million extra seats on the region’s rail network every year.

93% of businesses surveyed by Midlands Connect said their employees would benefit from the improvements, while 66% said staff who might otherwise travel to work by car would be more inclined to take the train if the line is reinstated.

82% of firms said the proposed improvements would make it easier to recruit new staff and 61% believed it would help their business to grow.

Two new trains per hour would be introduced under the proposals, with stops along the route including Loughborough and East Midlands Parkway.

Andy Clark, senior rail programme manager at Midlands Connect, said: “The results are overwhelming and show that businesses in Coventry, Leicester & Nottingham want to see improved rail services. They see this investment as an example of levelling up their area and helping their economy to grow.

“What the survey also showed is faster and more frequent trains will save businesses money, allow them to recruit more people and grow.

“We will use these results as part of our strategic case for investment in the corridor and I want to thank all the firms and organisations who took part in the survey.”

Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester’s City Mayor, added: “The survey results add to the already overwhelming case to reconnect the railway between these two major cities and help to reduce the reliance on the car.

“This project is important to both the local and regional economies and the Government is urged to press on with project development work as a priority within their rail programme.”

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