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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Call for action over rail delays
Central train
Passengers are being delayed by signals in Droitwich
Old fashioned railway signals in Worcestershire are causing unacceptable delays for commuters, according to the area's business leaders.

The West Midlands Business Council is writing to Network Rail asking when the signals around Droitwich, installed in the 1950s, will be upgraded.

The signals cause delays leading to passengers being stuck in their carriages, it says.

Network Rail says there are plans to replace the signals.

The council's executive director James Watkins said: "For too long, journey times have dragged on and passengers have been stuck needlessly in carriages because of delays caused by out of date signals affecting journeys between Herefordshire and Worcestershire and Birmingham.

"These rail delays are leading to logjams into Birmingham New Street station - making worse the problems that already exist at this station."

The signals should be replaced in the next ten years.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "┐Network Rail is investing millions of pounds renewing the signalling systems across the whole of the West Midlands region over the next 10 years.

"Once commissioned this major investment will reduce delays, improve capacity and provide a reliable service for passengers for decades to come.

"In the short term we are looking at whether improvements can be made to the signalling at Droitwich.┐

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