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ORR announces decision on additional services between London and Wrexham

3 September 2007
ORR/24/07

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has approved track access rights for a new service between London Marylebone and Wrexham. The rights will come into effect in December 2007 and run for seven years, providing for a new ‘open access’ company Wrexham, Shropshire and Marylebone Railway Company Limited (WSMR) to operate five services each way on weekdays.

Additionally, the rights allow three services each way on Saturday, and three northbound and two southbound services on Sunday.

The timetable will allow for a reasonable spread of services throughout the day, whilst retaining flexibility for Network Rail.

ORR Chief Executive Bill Emery said: “We have considered WSMR’s application for new services carefully against the background of our duties and published policies.  We balanced the interests of all rail users affected by WSMR’s proposed services assessing the effect of the new services on franchised services; and the more general benefits that will arise from the promotion of competition on the network.

“We are satisfied that approving the rights offers the best outcome for rail users. The new route will bring significant benefits to passengers, particularly to Wrexham and other areas of Wales and Shropshire that will receive a new direct service connecting them to London.”

Notes for editors

  1. WSMR submitted its application on 6 March 2007.
  2. Our decision on the application, which is made under Section 17 of the Railway Act 1993, and can be found on our website, is subject to further discussions with the parties on the precise terms of the contract. A report, setting out ORR’s full reasons for our decision will be published by the end of the week.
  3. An open access passenger train operator, sometimes referred to as a non-franchised passenger operator, provides services which are not specified by a government or other transport authority (that is, it does not have a franchise or concession agreement).
  4. The agreement will contain rights to call at Banbury, Birmingham International, Tame Bridge Parkway, Wolverhampton, Cosford, Telford Central, Wellington, Shrewsbury, Gobowen, Chirk and Ruabon.  The rights to call at Gobowen, Chirk and Ruabon for one northbound weekday service will be contingent.  As per WSMR’s application, the rights to call at Wolverhampton, Birmingham International and Banbury will be to set down only southbound and pick up only northbound.
  5. When ORR exercises its functions under Part 1 of the Act, it is governed by its statutory duties and it is for ORR to decide how to balance them in reaching a decision. ORR has considered all its statutory duties in reaching the decision.

    Press enquiries

    ORR Press Office – 020 7282 2188/2007