The Stourbridge Line User Group exists to promote and protect the Birmingham to Worcester Railway which runs through Stourbridge and Kidderminster. Our campaigns are based on these two objectives and progress is measured from the time of the Group’s inception. The Group does not assume to take the credit for all improvements made, but working together with other stakeholders, we can claim to have brought forward :-
SLUG will vigorously pursue its campaigns through various channels and raise its profile to recruit new members. It regularly meets with local government transport authorities and train operators. It will also co-operate with other user groups where there is a common interest.
SLUG will undertake to raise the standards on the Stourbridge Railway Line in the context of the complete journey experience and is pursuing further improvements in the following eight areas.
SLUG believes that the decision by London Midland to reduce Booking Office hours was a retrograde step.
It accepts that, at certain times of the day, the number of people using the Booking Office did not warrant it being open. However, it believes that better ticket sales facilities need to be available at all stations.
SLUG will campaign for a staff presence at each station during operational hours to provide security for station users and to provide assistance to customers with fares or journey planning queries.
SLUG commends the improvements made to train services over the past few years but feels that improvements can still be made in a number of areas. It is campaigning actively on the following improvements :-
SLUG commends London Midland for introducing off-peak services to Hartlebury in December 2013, and evening services in May 2014. It also commends London Midland for reintroducing off-peak through services from Hagley to Worcester in December 2014. It is campaigning for the following improvements :-
SLUG has supported Worcestershire County Council in its bid to secure funding to rebuild Kidderminster station and improve the layout of its forecourt to provide a genuine transport interchange. It is therefore pleased that the funding has been secured with work starting on the improvements in 2016/2017.
SLUG will continue to liaise with Worcestershire County Council on the design of the new station and the facilities offered.
SLUG is greatly concerned about the number of rail travellers who are able to cheat the system and travel without payment. SLUG has been campaigning for on-train ticket inspections to be carried out on all train journeys on the Stourbridge line, rather than the small percentage where checks are currently made.
SLUG has produced statistics of the percentage of on-board ticket checks on Stourbridge line services from 2002 to October 2015. The full statistics produced may be viewed by clicking on the button below.
SLUG is also concerned that gate lines at the Birmingham City Centre stations are regularly unmanned during off-peak and evening hours.
SLUG is campaigning for a thorough revenue protection policy to be adopted by London Midland and Chiltern Railways to discourage fare dodgers.
SLUG is campaigning for better connections at Worcester stations between Stourbridge line services and onward services towards Oxford and the West Country. It is particularly concerned that Stourbridge line passengers wishing to travel to the West Country have to go via Birmingham because the two-hourly service from Worcester to Cheltenham Spa is so poor. SLUG believes that this can be achieved in one of two ways.
SLUG believes that priority should be given to reinstating Rainbow Hill Junction with full double track on all tracks within Worcester City Centre. This would allow Stourbridge line trains to operate to Worcester Foregate Street for the City Centre, and reverse to continue to Worcester Shrub Hill and either Gloucester or Worcestershire Parkway.
SLUG is campaigning for improvements to the general ambience and passenger comfort facilities at Stourbridge line stations.
SLUG is deeply concerned at the lack of integrated bus services serving local stations. It also believes that travel information available on stations and trains needs major improvement. It is campaigning for local geographical and related public transport information to be displayed prominently at all Stourbridge line stations, and for posters to be displayed on all Class 172 trains showing basic onward travel information for all stations served by Snow Hill line trains.
SLUG is also campaigning for more comprehensive timetable booklets to be produced in place of the London Midland pocket timetables.
SLUG is campaigning for the restoration of a rail passenger service to Dudley and beyond. The lines are already in use (and maintained to a high standard) as far as Round Oak near Brierley Hill. The tracks could easily handle passenger trains as well as freight. The Group is prepared to accept a sharing of tracks to accommodate tram/train operation, but the greater objective is to pursue passenger services to Dudley and Walsall and connections to the inter-city network in the north-east of England.
SLUG will monitor the Ultra Light Rail proposals between Dudley and Dudley Port and will campaign to ensure that this proposal does not impact negatively on its aims for a passenger service along the full length of the line.
Subject to a perceivable demand and a realistic business case, SLUG will campaign for the re-opening of branch lines where tracks or track beds still exist.