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Better train services between Worcester, Evesham, Oxford and London throughout the peak periods are essential says local MP Peter Luff, a regular but frustrated user of the line.
His concern centres on the poor service available after the 7.34 departure from Worcester – the 7.53 from Evesham. The 09.10, supposed to be run by an HST 125 is now operated by a three car turbo. Peter explains,

“First Great Western must improve the quality of their peak time service if more people are to be encouraged to travel by train rather than car. The 7.34 is just too early for many people – there must be a good train just a little later.”

Peter has today written to the railways minister, Lord Adonis, urging his intervention to improve the service. In his letter he writes,

“The train after the 7.34 from Worcester is much more important that FGW have ever acknowledged; it has for many years been subject to frequent cancellation, even when it ran at the much more appropriate time of about 8.40. Now it is 9.10 – hopelessly late and dreadfully overcrowded. For commuters who find 7.34 just a bit early, the only alternative is to drive to Birmingham or Warwick Parkway – or all the way to London. FGW need to be alerted to their short-sightedness in treating this service as a Cinderella service for so many years.”

Commenting Peter said,

“I have been a frequent user of the line for about twenty years because I need to travel most weeks of the year between London and Worcestershire. However the timing of the morning trains makes it an increasingly unattractive option to travel to London or Oxford.

“First Great Western’s insistence on using the dreadful three car Turbos is bad enough at any time, but to use them at peak times – and that is what the train after 7.34 should be - is simple madness. The Turbos make travel impossible for business people who need to work, and very uncomfortable for day-trippers and tourists with limited luggage space and seating.

“I have been forced to raise this matter with the minister because First Great Western do not seem to be taking the matter seriously. I have previously written to the Managing Director of First Great Western asking him to reconsider the use of Turbo trains – in peak hours at least – but I’ve only had back a reply in which he acknowledged my ‘disappointment’. I feel much, much more than disappointed!

“If Worcestershire’s businesses are to flourish, and if people needing to travel for other reasons are going to be encouraged to use the train, not the car, we need a better service. There will be little point redoubling parts of the line unless we get better trains too.”


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