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A bid to a government fund for new stations from Worcestershire County Council for a Worcestershire Parkway Station has won a new surge of local and national support, to the delight of Peter Luff, the MP for the area where the station would be built.

After a long conversation with Network Rail Peter now believes their lack of enthusiasm for the plan has been overcome. He is convinced that they are now prepared to support an initial single platform station on the East-West line linking Oxford, Worcester and London, which alone could transform the attraction of the railway service to and from the county. Peter also believes that this station would incentivise the railway companies to improve the frequency of services, with great benefit to journeys in both directions.

Peter explained,

“At a constituency level this station is the single highest local priority in my remaining two years as a Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire. It continues to have my enthusiastic support. This bid may not succeed – the pot is quite small and our bid quite large – but the project has now acquired unstoppable momentum.”

In a letter of support for the County Council’s bid, Peter explained,

“I have long supported and campaigned for the construction of a Worcestershire Parkway Station in my constituency, at Norton, where the Birmingham to Bristol line crosses the Worcester to Oxford and London line.

“It is a tragedy of history that the railway engineers in the Victorian period were deterred from connecting Worcester properly to the North-South route and the city and the county has paid a heavy penalty for this ever since.

“The old British Rail scandalously diminished the capacity and resilience of the Oxford-Worcester part of the journey for London-bound trains and only recently has investment been made in redoubling sections of the line.

“I have no doubt that Worcestershire as a whole pays a heavy price for the inadequate rail services to and from the county, both from the North and South and above all from the capital city. I have heard of many businesses who are reluctant to locate to Worcestershire because of the poor rail links – it is possible to make a day journey to London with a reasonable choice of trains at the two peaks but the journey from London to Worcester for the day is something of a challenge with a small and inadequate choice of trains. Additionally there are frequent service intervals and a complete lack of regularity.

“There is also the crucial issue, on top of all of this, which is the woeful shortage of car parking, particularly for those wishing to stay overnight away from Worcestershire. Many of my constituents choose to drive to Warwick Parkway or Birmingham International in order to park their car securely and take advantage of a more regular rail service. Many more choose simply to drive, feeling that once they have started to drive they may as well carry on. A massive opportunity is being lost to the railways and great damage being done to Worcestershire’s economy.”

Commenting Peter said,

“My very strong aspiration is for a fully fledged four platform station, two serving the Birmingham to Bristol line and two serving a fully redoubled London to Worcester line, but I accept that it will take time to achieve. I am delighted that Network Rail are willing to commit to the important step of a single platform station and I am certain that once this has proved its worth the expansion of the station will be next.

“It has taken a long time to reach this point and although commitment to a one platform station is a small step, it is a step in the right direction and I believe it will lead to bigger things.”


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