THE LONG-RUNNING campaign to breathe new life into the Cotswold line has been boosted with news an independent study will be carried out into possible improvements.
Prime Minister David Cameron has requested a report on the possible dualling of the congested line, a decision welcomed by Evesham’s MP Nigel Huddleston and Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin.
Mr Cameron has repeated his support for dualling the train line running through the Vale to London, adding to the campaign to bring significant investment into the county’s infrastructure.
The Prime Minister has written to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin asking for an independent study to be carried out to look at the economic benefits of delivering much needed improvements to the Cotswold Line.
Both Mr Huddleston and Mrs Baldwin have lobbied for improvements to the county’s transport services together with Worcester MP Robin Walker, which has already seen work carried out to identify the economic benefits of completing the dualling of the Carrington Road bridge.
The Mid Worcestershire MP picked up the reigns from predecessor Sir Peter Luff who also campaigned strongly on the issue during his time as MP.
The results will be added to the file of evidence for submission to Mr McLoughlin.
“I am grateful for the Prime Minister’s intervention on this matter,” said Mrs Baldwin.
“He also represents a rural constituency which depends on good road and train links and I know he consistently raises the matter of dualling the Cotswold Line in meetings with rail chiefs.
“Earlier in the year, I called on businesses to speak up and say what a difference better transport links would make to their growth plans.
“It is clear this evidence will form a crucial part of the decision making process for significant investment in our road and rail links.
“With the green light for the Worcestershire Parkway station now given at County Hall, it could not be more important that we deliver more dualling of sections of the Cotswold Line into the plans for rail investment over the coming years.
“We all understand this will be a costly project but the message is clear that it is much needed across the length of the line towards Oxford.
“Together with my colleagues, I will keep up the pressure for investment in the Cotswold Line and call for faster, more frequent services for county rail commuters.”