TRAINS are set to continue calling at Stone despite plans to introduce services deemed too long for the town’s station, a councillor has said.
There were concerns that Stone’s railway services could be at risk when London Midland introduced eight carriage trains to combat crowding at London Euston in its next timetable, as they would obstruct the footpath over the line, Councillor Philip Jones said.
But following a meeting between Staffordshire County Council, London Midland and Network Rail it has been confirmed that eight carriage trains would not run until at least the end of the December timetable, Councillor Jones said.
And when the eight carriage services do start running they will divide in two at Stafford, with four carriages running empty to Crewe and the remaining four stopping at Stone and Kidsgrove.
The county council is also currently investigating the potential for London Midland passengers to use their rail tickets after 6pm on the 101 bus service to Stone, which would boost connections between Birmingham and Stone, Councillor Jones said.
He added: “I am extremely pleased that the county council has been able to bring the various parties together to broker a solution.
“Rail passengers to and from Stone show increasing numbers year on year and I am determined to protect this vital asset of the town.”
In June the Newsletter reported that the 4.46pm London Midland service from Euston to Crewe stopped calling at Stone without warning, leaving commuters travelling from Birmingham to Stone stranded in Stafford.
But a month later London Midland announced the Stone station stop would be restored until the next timetable change in December.
Stone MP Bill Cash was one of those who called for its return and said he would meeting with an official from London Midland to ensure the commuter service permanently stops at Stone.