CAMPAIGNERS have demanded Bromsgrove is given a “proper service” to reflect its new £24 million station, after CrossCountry axed four long-distance trains.

Bromsgrove Rail User Group (BRUG) has slammed CrossCountry’s decision to withdraw trains towards Cardiff and Nottingham as an “absolute disgrace”.

The rail firm pulled the service on July 30 and cited the electrification of the line on the same day as the reason for the decision, as it is now easier to travel from Bromsgrove to Birmingham to catch a connecting train.

But Mike Ponsonby, chairman of the rail group, said: “Imagine if I told you if you wanted to go 100 miles south you had to go 15 miles north, turn around, and go 15 miles south to get back to the position you were at in the first place. Does that seem logical? Not at all.

“But that is the advice we are getting from CrossCountry if we want to go to Bristol, Exeter or Plymouth. It is irrational and will add to the train users’ inconvenience.

“We want a proper service to reflect the fact we have a £24 million station with excellent service and links to Birmingham, but a non-existent service from Bromsgrove towards Cheltenham – the hub for all CrossCountry trains.

“It is a waste of time and money. There are two additional rail fares as a result of this. One to Birmingham New Street another back from there to Bromsgrove.

“Birmingham New Street Station suffers from massive congestion. It has a footfall of 45 million people every year.

“What you should be doing is diverting people away from that station and using Bromsgrove as a regional hub, which is what it has the potential to be.

“This is a private company who get a public subsidy from the tax payer and are now withdrawing that service from Bromsgrove residents. It is an absolute disgrace.”

Mr Ponsonby added the BRUG is inputting into the firm's Franchise Specification for 2020 to "rectify this operational mistake".

CrossCountry said their decision was made as electrification of the line meant the town “no longer need these very limited stops”.

A spokesman added the West Midlands Rail Executive, West Midlands Railway, and the Department for Transport were consulted in the decision.