Campaigners call for Vale public transport boost - The Evesham Observer

Campaigners call for Vale public transport boost

Evesham Editorial 3rd Jan, 2020   0

GREATER support for the Vale’s ailing rural bus network and investment in much needed local rail projects such as Pershore Station’s long delayed extended car park are being urged by a county pressure group.

Worcestershire has suffered some of the worst cutbacks in bus services of any county in the country and service reductions are continuing despite a wide ranging public bus service consultation conducted by the County Council, according the Vale Public Transport Group.

Public meetings to highlight rail and bus issues are being organised by the group, comprising  representatives from town and parish councils in the Val,  at Pershore Town Hall on Wednesday, January 15 and at Evesham Town Hall on Tuesday, January 21 both starting at 7pm.

“All of our political parties were calling for greater investment in bus services before the election and a local poll in Wychavon found that improving local bus services was one of the top priorities, ” said Vale Public Transport Group chairman Julian Palfrey.

“Sadly  cuts are continuing with large villages such as Eckington recently  losing  Saturday services and reductions now planned in the Evesham-Stratford service next month.”

The group has written to both Vale MPs Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) and Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire)  urging greater fairness in central government funding to end the wide disparity between public transport spending per head of population in London compared with the Midlands or the North.

“We are also calling for greater investment in local rail projects to finally bring an end the 20 year delay in providing additional car parking at Pershore especially where the land for a 200 space car park is available and a suitable footbridge to link the car park with the platform has been identified, said Mr Palfrey.

The group has welcomed the major upgrade in Cotswold Line rail services from December with all the new faster hourly trains serving Evesham and the vast majority also serving Pershore and Honeybourne Stations.

“We believe this offers great potential for improved bus/rail integration and co-ordination particularly at Evesham Station to boost both rail and bus usage and to upgrade Pershore’s popular local PlumLine bus service,” he said

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