TRAVELLERS to London from Runcorn will have their journey times slashed by 20 minutes.
A Government report has confirmed Runcorn rail users will have a better service than predicted once work on the West Coast Main Line project is finished, with journeys to the capital taking less than two hours.
The West Coast Main Line Progress Report details the planned timetable to be introduced following the completion of the project in 2008.
Highlights of the planned timetable include: Faster trains from London to Run-corn, with the journey time reduced to 1 hour 55 minutes;
* Faster trains from London to Liverpool, with the standard journey time reduced to just two hours nine minutes - 45 minutes faster than before the upgrade of the route;
* Additional trains at peak times to provide a half-hourly service from Liverpool to London; and
* A massive improvement in weekend services, with journey times and frequencies close to weekday levels.
Transport minister and Halton MP Derek Twigg said: 'This project has been a tremendous engineering feat, with over 1,200 miles of track laid already and improvements made so that trains can run at 125mph in tilt mode along the entire track.
'There is still hard work ahead but credit must go to everyone involved in this remarkable project.
'Passengers have already seen faster journey times and improving reliability delivered by this project and this is why so many more passengers are now using the West Coast Main Line.
'Now we have details of the second stage of benefits they will enjoy after the upgrade completes in 2008.
'These improvements from the project are even greater than we thought would be possible when this work started.
'Passengers on the West Coast Main Line can look forward to the future with confidence.'