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Train operators seem to have missed a golden opportunity to offer improved rail services in Worcestershire, local MP Peter Luff says.
His comments come after a report published by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) today (Monday) which highlighted where new stations and rail connections could be built or re-opened. ATOC failed to make any mention of the need for Worcestershire Parkway station.

Peter has written to the Chief Executive of ATOC asking him to clarify if the failure to include Worcestershire Parkway in their report was an oversight, or if it was deliberately excluded. In his letter Peter said:

“In the foreword to the report you say that you have taken a market-based approach to the issue, looking at where people live and where they want to travel. Therefore, I must admit I am disappointed that your organisation has not highlighted Worcestershire Parkway as one of the opportunities for future rail connections in the UK.

“Local people have long campaigned for such a station, in the hope of improved and more useful services. But now the need for Worcestershire Parkway has become much more urgent, if not essential. Due to the government-imposed South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy we are set to see massive increases in house building over the next few years - which obviously means an equally large population rise. These people will have to commute – north to Birmingham, south to Gloucester and Bristol and east to Oxford and London.

“To deal with these increases, and if we are to avoid many more car journeys being made on our already crowded roads, the construction of a Worcestershire Parkway station at Norton is essential, particularly given the lack of much needed secure car parking at stations in the county.

“I can only assume that your report did not take into account future house-building programmes – which is a real shame, because you have missed a golden opportunity to highlight the need for improved infrastructure in Worcestershire.

“Even if this new house building doesn’t happen on the scale currently envisaged (and I am working hard to make sure it doesn’t), the need is still urgent. Was it an oversight, or did you really decide not to support this much-needed station?”

Commenting Peter said:

“I do hope this is an oversight – because it would be very worrying indeed if ATOC has decided against Worcestershire Parkway. I continue to fight against house building in the area at the levels currently proposed, but the need for Worcestershire Parkway already exists.

“I hope we can persuade the government that lower levels of new house building would meet local need, but any new housing will only make the existing problem worse. We need Worcestershire Parkway and we need it now!”


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