Campaigners claim Pershore train services could face the axe - The Evesham Observer

Campaigners claim Pershore train services could face the axe

Evesham Editorial 5th Mar, 2017   0

TRANSPORT campaigners have claimed Pershore train services could face the axe should plans to speed up services on the Cotswold Line be given the green light.

Members of the Pershore’s Public Transport Group (PPTG) and the Cotswold Line Promotion Group (CLPG) have teamed up to air their concerns at a public meeting on Thursday, March 16 from 7pm.

Pershore residents have been invited to make their voices heard at the meeting at Pershore Town Hall which will also welcome representatives from train company Great Western Railway and Worcestershire County Council.

Campaigners say despite increases in the number of people using the station, Pershore’s status as the second largest town on the line between Worcester and Oxford is not recognised and previous cutbacks in services have still not been restored.

The meeting will be chaired by Pershore Mayor Coun Bob Gilmour and will also see calls for transport chiefs to restore services to the town that have already been cut.

With the proposed development of the Worcestershire Parkway station underway, local campaigners now feel services in Pershore at more at risk than ever.

PPTG chairman and CLPG publicity officer, Julian Palfrey, said: “Forty years of constant campaigning to ensure that rail services and facilities such as vital car parking meet the needs of the growing town of Pershore are now at risk.”

“Just five years ago, all trains served the town’s station but cuts imposed in May 2015 have still not been restored and the number of trains not serving Pershore’s 8,000 population increases to seven in the latest May timetable.

“This is despite existing major and planned housing growth within a third of a mile of the station.

“The powerful case for the hourly fast trains to call at Pershore must not be compromised either by the new Worcester Parkway station, which will cost an extra three to four minutes on train schedules, or by the clamour for a two-hour Worcester-London journey time,” he added.

Campaigners claim the town will not benefit from the planned upgrade to hourly fast services from December 2018.

Great Western Railway has indicated Pershore may have to wait for redoubling of the track, for which there is currently no timescale or funding, before any improvements can be expected.

Car parking at the station has also been criticised as despite years of campaigning, the 20-space car park has never been enlarged.

No building work has started at the station despite planning permission being granted five years ago for a new 64-space car park on the site.

It was hoped the approval would then lead to successful negotiations taking place between the landowners Carlton Smith Ltd and Network Rail over a land swap but no progress has been made.


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