Dismay for Pershore rail campaigners - The Evesham Observer

Dismay for Pershore rail campaigners

Evesham Editorial 25th Mar, 2017   0

CAMPAIGNERS have slammed news there will be no improvements to train services in Pershore despite hourly London services being introduced from next year.

A packed meeting at Pershore Town Hall heard rail users will be left in the cold despite plans to upgrade London services to hourly from December 2018.

Around 80 people packed into the meeting, attended by representatives from Great Western Railway and Worcestershire County Council, to hear Pershore will have to wait on redoubling of the track into Worcester.

Rail users were told there was no funding available for the improvements which are needed to ensure services can then be enhanced.

And the 15-year delay in any improvements to the minimal 20-space car park at the station following disagreements between the parties involved is set to continue, with no timescale or funding for a more major scheme to upgrade car parking provision at the station.

Rail campaigners say these factors – and the new Worcestershire Parkway station – posed a very real threat to future usage of Pershore as users could desert the station to find better services and facilities elsewhere.

“More than 40 years of campaigning and fighting for proper recognition of the status of Pershore as the second largest town on the Cotswold Line between Worcester and Oxford could now be at risk,” said Julian Palfrey, chairman of the Pershore Public Transport Group.

“Pershore has already seen its level of train services reduced in recent timetables yet the only commitment from the meeting was that Pershore’s services would not be further reduced.

“The only hope offered appeared to be in a second hourly service at some stage in the future which would condemn Pershore users to a secondary service of much slower stopping trains.

“There is no reason why the fast growing town of Pershore should not be served by the new fast hourly services in the same way as it was served by all the fast Adelante trains when they were introduced in 2004/5 and when journey times were up to 20 minutes faster than now,” said Mr Palfrey.”

The committed campaigner said county council budget cutbacks had already led to the decimation of rural bus services in South Worcestershire with large villages such as Fladbury and Eckington losing all or most of their off-peak buses.

“Now county council policies pose a very real threat to the future of rural rail services from stations such as Pershore.

“Pershore needs its rail station more than ever to cater for year on year growth in passenger numbers and revenue and the massive growth in housing near the station.

“The fight for better than a second class service for the second largest town on the line continues.”


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