Call for clarity over trains and car park - The Evesham Observer

Call for clarity over trains and car park

Evesham Editorial 3rd Feb, 2018   0

A PLEA to end the 16 year ‘impasse’ on delivering improvements to the car park at Pershore railway station has been made after a red-faced rail chief was forced to clarify the town’s train services were not under threat.

Town Mayor Coun Bob Gillmor issued the rallying call after Pershore Town Council and West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin were forced to intervene when Great Western managing director Mark Hopwood appeared to cast serious doubt on the future of the town’s services once the Worcestershire Parkway station opened its doors.

In the August edition of monthly rail publication Modern Railways, Mr Hopwood said some Pershore calls ‘may have to be taken out to allow for Worcestershire Parkway stops’.

The present weekday service of 16 up trains to London and 17 trains to Worcester or Hereford is currently guaranteed under Government commitments.

Worcestershire Parkway station will open later this year and provide improved local links to Birmingham, London and South Wales.

In separate responses to Coun Gillmor, the town council and Mrs Baldwin, Mr Hopwood has guaranteed Pershore’s existing services are safe.

“I apologise for the confusion the article in Modern Railways caused. We have committed the total of services calling at Pershore will not be reduced from today.”

“It is true Pershore is unlikely to benefit from a full hourly service in December 2018 due to Worcestershire Parkway and it was I suspect this point that Modern Railways were alluding to.

“This is a consequence of infrastructure limitations of the North Cotswold Line.”

Coun Gillmor welcomed the commitment and called for rail chiefs to deliver much-needed improvements for the car park which has been at the centre of war of words between Network Rail and landowners Carlton Smith Ltd since 2002.

“However we believe the commitment needs to go a stage further and rail services from the fast growing town of Pershore which is seeing significant year on year growth in passenger numbers should be upgraded so all the new hourly services proposed call at the station.

“We need urgent action to end the 16 year impasse on delivering any improvements in the totally inadequate car parking arrangements at Pershore Station to cater for this growth.”

“The previous infrastructure upgrade involving a £70million 20 mile redoubling project would have allowed an hourly service over the Cotswold Line including calls at Pershore.

“This was completed seven years ago yet the second largest town on the line will still continue to be served by a second class rail service.”


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