A year’s free rail travel for lucky winner

Stratford Parkway info signTom Sumner of Stratford-Upon-Avon has been announced as the lucky winner of a year’s free travel on the London Midland network between Stratford and Birmingham, thanks to a local competition held to mark the opening of the new Stratford Parkway railway station.

The new station opened in May this year – seven months ahead of the proposed schedule.

Stratford Parkway’s development was co-funded by the Department for Transport, following a successful bid by Warwickshire County Council to the Department’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The County Council provided additional funding for the project.

The station has played a pivotal role in easing passenger traffic at Stratford-Upon-Avon’s town station and with its integrated transport links, including a large car park, Park & Ride bus service and Brompton Bike hire, provides passengers from Stratford and the wider region with a vital link into Birmingham city centre.

The reward of a year’s free travel on the London Midland network between Stratford and Birmingham was offered as a prize when a team of Travel Advisors, employed by JMP Consultants, visited 2,200 households in the town over the summer as part of Warwickshire County Council’s ‘Choose How You Move’ campaign.

Their task was to encourage householders to re-think how they choose to travel, promoting sustainable transport, including rail, as alternatives to the car for both local and longer-distance journeys.

Terry Oliver, London Midland’s head of Snow Hill service said, “Already we are seeing around 2,500 passenger journeys per month from Stratford Parkway, which demonstrates the vital role the station has played in connecting passengers to local towns and cities”. 

Tom was selected as the lucky winner of the year’s free travel, worth £1,452, after entering the competition.  His free travel pass is in the form of an electronic smartcard ticket known as ‘The key’, which he will simply swipe at his departure and arrival station. 

On receiving his prize Tom said, “This win was so unexpected; I never win prizes!  I will definitely be using the train now a lot more than I did before”.

A spokesperson from Warwickshire County Council, who played a pivotal role in bringing the new station to Stratford said, “Congratulations to Tom, I really hope enjoys using his free travel pass and makes the most of this great prize from London Midland. I’d like to thank Tom and everyone else who spoke to the Travel Advisors over the summer and showed a genuine interest in changing their travel habits as part of our ‘Choose How You Move’ campaign. The popularity of Stratford Parkway continues to grow and we’re delighted that 2,500 passenger journeys a month are already being made from the station.”

Thanks to additional funding from Centro, the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority, Stratford Upon Avon residents will also benefit from more train services into and out of Birmingham from December 2013 – allowing Tom to make the most of his year’s free travel.