Industry and tourism in Shrewsbury has been damaged because it is the only county town in Britain without a direct rail link to London, MPs have warned.

Ministers were urged to improve the Shropshire town's connections "as a matter of urgency" by local MPs.

It follows warnings that a lack of investment in train services could damage the West Midlands tourist economy this summer and beyond.

Brian Summers, chairman of Tourism West Midlands, called for improvements in a submission to the Strategic Rail Authority.

Last night MPs Daniel Kawczynski (Con Shrewsbury & Atcham), Philip Dunne (Con Ludlow) and William Cash (Con Stone) backed his plea.

In a Commons motion, they said: "Shrewsbury is the only county town in England without a direct rail link to London . . . this hampers Shrewsbury's long-term business and tourism opportunities."