RIDE IN DRIVER’S CAB GIVES MP NEW IDEAS TO IMPROVE RAIL SERVICE
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RIDE IN DRIVER’S CAB GIVES MP NEW IDEAS TO IMPROVE RAIL SERVICE

A local MP has made fresh suggestions to improve local train services after a ride in a driver’s cab from Honeybourne to Worcester Foregate Street.

Responding to Network Rail’s important consultation on its priorities for investment, the so-called “Regional Urban Market Study", Peter Luff, the MP for Mid Worcestershire has also warned of a risk that Worcestershire could be marginalised by the railway company. In his response he says,

“I was very concerned [that your] emphasis on journeys of less than 90 minutes and on main regional centres, suggests a lack of interest in services from Worcestershire to London. Modest investment in the Worcester-Evesham-Oxford line could transform the rail service, but your study seems to set its face against that.

“For example, even if the line is not completely redoubled (the sections between Charlbury and Oxford and between Evesham and Norton Junction remain single track) there are improvements that could be made. On a recent cab journey along the line, kindly arranged by First Great Western, I saw the low speed limit crossover on the line to Worcester at Norton Junction. Re-engineering of this cross-over to increase its speed could significantly reduce journey times. I am sure there are many such changes that could be made – for example a passing loop and second platform at Pershore if full redoubling is not possible.”

Peter goes on to complain about slow speeds, irregularity and unreliability on the line saying,

"Network Rail should also set out an ambition for the early introduction of a timetable of fast (less than two hours) and semi-fast trains along the North Cotswold line that properly reflect the demand that exists and ends the practice of Worcestershire commuters driving to Warwick Parkway and Birmingham international where the regular and frequent services are much more attractive."

He describes the failure to build Worcestershire Parkway station as “a massive opportunity" being lost to the railways” and concludes that,

“Worcestershire deserves better, faster, more regular and more reliable services.”

ENDS


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