►► A map showing part of the CrossCountry network ◀◀

A campaign has been launched to double the CrossCountry train service from the Midlands to Stansted Airport.

The existing hourly CrossCountry service from Birmingham and Leicester, via Melton Mowbray, Oakham, Stamford and Peterborough, should be increased to two an hour, says campaigner Richard Cleaver.

He is calling on the Department for Transport to ensure that sufficient rolling stock is available to CrossCountry Trains to allow the company to upgrade the service, currently operated by diesel Turbostar trains.

He says the service improvement should be in place by 2016 and be a condition of the extension of CrossCountry's franchise.

He urges that the franchise extension agreement, currently being negotiated, must also stipulate that services should run from Stansted and Birmingham until 22.30 from Monday to Saturday.

CrossCountry is owned by Arriva UK Trains which is in turn a subsidiary of the German national rail operator Deutsche Bahn.

The franchise was awarded in 2007 and included the Stansted service previously operated by Central Trains.

The franchise was expected to end in March 2016, but last year Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the franchise would be extended to 2019.

Mr Cleaver has promoted a petition on the Government’s e-petition site which closes in August 2014.

You can sign the petition by clicking: here